June 28, 2016 / 9:55 AM / 3 years ago

Japan's Renesas wants to stay independent, says chief executive, snubbing Nidec

TOKYO, June 28 (Reuters) - Japanese automotive chip maker Renesas Electronics Corp hopes to stay independent, its newly appointed chief executive said on Tuesday, spurning an overture from electronics parts maker Nidec Corp.

Renesas is widely seen as an acquisition target as its top shareholder the state-backed Innovation Network Corp of Japan (INCJ) fund, set up in 2009 to invest in technology companies, is obliged to sell its 69 percent stake before being dissolved by 2024.

“We don’t want to come under the wing of a certain manufacturer,” Bunsei Kure told a news conference, his first media appearance after taking the helm of the company on Tuesday. “We want to be held by a wide range of investors.”

Nidec has said it is interested in acquiring Renesas to become a global auto parts supplier rivalling Germany’s Robert Bosch and Japan’s Denso Corp.

Kure said autonomy was crucial in the highly-specialised field of automotive chips, which help control steering and enable driver assistance in newer cars.

Rivals such as Infineon Technologies and NXP Semiconductors NV have been spun off from Siemens AG and Philips, he said. Sources have said Infineon was also interested in Renesas.

Kure did not rule out capital alliances with other chipmakers, however. “It’s possible that we will team up within the semiconductor sector to complement what we lack,” he said.

More than $80-billion worth of M&A deals were announced in the semiconductor industry last year, including NXP’s purchase of Freescale Semiconductor Inc, and ON Semiconductor Corp’s deal for Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc .

Renesas controls nearly 40 percent of the global market for microcontroller chips used in automobiles, but ceded its top rank last year in the overall automotive chips market to Infineon. (Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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