TAIPEI (Reuters) - U.S. memory chip maker Micron Technology MU.N says it will pay $400 million in cash for Qimonda’s QI.N 35.6 percent stake in Inotera, a joint venture between Qimonda and Taiwan’s Nanya Technology (2408.TW).
Germany’s Infineon Technologies, which owns a roughly 77.5 percent stake in Qimonda QI.N, said it had held talks with a number of third parties on the possibility of selling all or a portion of its stake in Qimonda, but the outcome of these talks was uncertain amid the weak market conditions.
Global technology firms, including major DRAM makers, are facing a slowing global economy that has hurt consumer spending on new computers and consumer gadgets that require memory chips.
“This new relationship with Inotera will increase Micron’s competitiveness by further leveraging our current MeiYa joint venture with Nanya,” Micron Chairman and CEO Steve Appleton said in a statement.
Earlier this year, Micron and Nanya Technology, Taiwan’s No.2 DRAM maker, signed an agreement to set up a new chip joint venture, MeiYa, which could lead to Micron replacing Qimonda as Nanya’s advanced technology partner.
“Micron will gain greater scale in DRAM, reduce our operating expenses per wafer and have access to a very cost-competitive operation.”
At 0315 GMT, Nanya Tech's shares had fallen 3.5 percent and Inotera shares were down 2.7 percent. Taiwan's main TAIEX .TWII had dropped 3.1 percent.
Under the agreement, Micron will acquire access to half of the total manufacturing capacity of Inotera Memories 3474.TW, with the other half allocated to Nanya.
The transaction will be completed in two stages, with Micron purchasing half of Qimonda’s stake, or about 18 percent of Inotera, for $200 million in cash within approximately the next week — subject to certain government approvals and other conditions, Micron said.
The remaining roughly 18 percent stake in Inotera would be acquired upon receipt of Taiwan Federal Trade Commission approval and other customary conditions, it said.
Reporting by Baker Li; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree