SAN JOSE, Calif. - Micron Technology Inc. may pursue an acquisition of its Taiwan DRAM joint venture partner, according to a report from the US-Taiwan Business Council.
''U.S. DRAM maker Micron has close ties to Nanya Technology and Inotera Memories,'' according to the report. ''Micron may even have a chance to strengthen its alliances in Taiwan, as there are rumors that Nanya-Taiwan’s second-largest DRAM maker-may sell its stake in Inotera to Micron.''
Both Nanya and Inotera are part of the Formosa Plastics Group, one of Taiwan’s largest
conglomerates. The US-Taiwan Business Council was established in 1976. It provides tactical and strategic advice on how to succeed in the Taiwan market.
Taiwan's Inotera is a joint DRAM venture between Nanya and Micron. Inotera has its own 300-mm DRAM fab. Nanya has its own and separate 300-mm fabs. Nanya sells DRAMs under its own brand name.
Micron could be reacting to one rival. As reported, Japan's Elpida Memory Inc. recently expanded its ties in Taiwan. Taiwan's Powerchip Technology Corp. recently exited the DRAM market, and transferred the business over to Elpida. Elpida also has a majority stake in Taiwan DRAM maker Rexchip Electronics Corp.
Other Taiwan DRAM makers, ProMOS, and to a lesser extent, Winbond, are in trouble. ''Taiwan DRAM companies are facing a bleak future,'' according to the report. ''Samsung Electronics, the world's biggest DRAM maker, will squeeze its smaller competitors over the long term by increases in output and with lower prices.''
In Q1, ''sales for the Taiwan DRAM industry fell by more than 23 percent year on year, led by even larger declines for Powerchip at 40 percent and Rexchip at nearly 27 percent. Taiwan’s handful of DRAM makers, which about five years ago held nearly 20 percent of the global market, are becoming less significant competitors as the number of survivors in the worldwide DRAM industry shrinks,'' according to the report.
''Taiwan’s DRAM companies are becoming less attractive as partners because they continue to
fall behind in the race to gain advanced technology. Their failure to invest in new capacity for more than two years has left them technologically behind rivals in South Korea, Japan and the U.S.,'' according to the report.
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