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Qimonda future uncertain despite talks-German state

DRESDEN, Germany, Feb 2 (Reuters) - The German state of Saxony's economics minister said a series of talks about finding investors for insolvent memory chip maker Qimonda QMNDQ.PK had taken place but the future of the company was still uncertain.

“Numerous talks have been held,” Thomas Jurk said at an industry conference on Monday, without elaborating.

“Should efforts fail, one of the key technologies will disappear... we have benefitted very much from the good years in this industry, now an insolvency impacts us just as much.”

Qimonda, the region’s biggest employer, has around 3,000 staff at its main European site in Dresden, the state capital.

Qimonda last month became the first major chipmaker to file for insolvency as a result of huge industry price drops and a global financing squeeze, but has said it hoped to continue operations. [ID:nLN168875]

Insolvency administrator Michael Jaffe has said the company required a strong financial investor to come up with a sustainable solution. According to a works council official the company has until the end of March to find an investor.

“We will do everything we can to help keep chip technology in our region,” Jurk reiterated on Monday.

The world's fourth-biggest maker of DRAM memory chips, used mainly in PCs, has said a 325-million-euro ($417.6 million) rescue attempt by Saxony, parent company Infineon IFXG.DE and a group of banks had not come in time to save the company.

“Despite our efforts in cooperation with Infineon and Portugal, unfortunately we were not able to avoid Qimonda’s insolvency proceedings,” Jurk said.

Jurk appealed to the federal government in Berlin and the European Commission to support the region.

“We cannot allow that only Asian locations will emerge stronger from this crisis,” Jurk said.

Taiwan’s government said in December it would support its struggling local DRAM industry by helping it develop more local technology and said it could provide aid to local players who are posting major losses. ($1=.7783 Euro) (Reporting by Nicola Leske; editing by Simon Jessop)

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