MUNICH, Germany German chip maker Infineon Technologies AG is advancing the spin off of its DRAM and other memory businesses, opting for a U.S. rather than an Asian listing, according to German media reports.
Shares in a new memory company spun off from Infineon are to be traded in New York and the spinoff is expected on or before May 1, the newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported, citing industry sources. However, it remains unclear if the shares will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) or on the Nasdaq exchange. Infineon is listed on the NYSE.
The possibility that Infineon could shift the timing of the IPO to the first half of 2006 to raise funds for an acquisition in Japan was raised in an Financial Times Deutschland report on March 14.
Infineon CEO Wolfgang Ziebart first disclosed the plan to split the company’s memory and logic operations late in 2005, although rumors and denials about such a plan had circulated throughout last year.
The plan is for the memory operation, with its need to control manufacturing to be spun off as an independent company and be funded by an IPO. Infineon would also continue as a logic and system chip company while pursuing a "fab-lite" strategy and using foundries. Some observers have cast doubt on the wisdom of an IPO for the memory operation, saying a sale to one of the rival DRAM makers would have a greater chance of success.
Infineon has created the impression that it would prefer a listing of the yet-unnamed DRAM manufacturer on an Asian stock exchange, but has not specified where it would list the company. One reason for a U.S. listing could be that brokers working for Infineon have found a higher degree of interest there than previously expected, which could drive up the share price, according to the report.
According to reports, the memory company will be spun off around May 1. Earlier, Infineon had indicated that the spin off would occur in the second half of 2006. Infineon announced plans to hold a press conference on Friday (March 31), during which Ziebart is scheduled to explain the state of the spin off process and his plans for the company.