LONDON The Russian government has approved a plan to buy a minority stake in chip maker JSC Mikron for about $10 million, according to a Russian News and Information Agency online report.
The board of Mikron (Zelenograd, Russia), a leading Russian manufacturer of chips, approved the additional private offering of 1.088 million shares to the Russian Federal Agency for the Management of Federal Property, on Tuesday (Aug. 29), the report said. Later a Russian economics official confirmed that the government may buy a minority stake in Mikron, which produces chips for the defense industry, the report said.
Mikron, the lead semiconductor company of the diverse consumer electronics company JSC Sitronics, claims to be Russia's largest chip maker and accounts for 28 percent of the microelectronic components used by the Russian defense industry, the report said.
Mikron expects to raise about 287 billion rubles (about $10.8 million) through its share offer, the report said.
"Given that Mikron is the only producer of such goods [in Russia], and that the defense industry accounts for a considerable part of the national economy nowadays, the decision is nothing out of the ordinary and can be justified by the need for government control over the monopoly production," the report quoted Kirill Androsov, deputy minister of economic development and trade, as saying. However, details have yet to be worked out, the report also quoted Androsov as saying.
Mikron's manufacturing capability is listed to be moving to 0.35-micron but earlier this year Mikron launched production of ICs for electronic passports. Mikron is also expanding its fab to accommodate 0.18-micron process technology to meet demand generated by electronic passports, telecommunications and consumer electronics (see Aug. 8, story).