SAN FRANCISCO—Elpida Memory Inc., the troubled Japanese DRAM maker, is in the final stage of discussions about a merger with U.S. memory chip maker Micron Technology Inc. and Taiwan's Nanya Technology Corp., according to a report by Japan's Yomiuri newspaper, the Reuters news service reported Monday (Jan. 23).
Reuters reported that an Elpida spokesman said parts of the Yomiuri's report were inaccurate, but declined to be more specific. A spokesman for Micron did not immediately respond to a request for comment made by EE Times.
Reports of a possible tie up between Micron and Elpida have circulated over the past week. Elpida is reportedly $6.26 billion in debt, roughly $1.6 billion of which is due in April. Industry watchers believe that Elpida will be unable to meet the debt obligation.
Earlier this month, speculation swirled that Toshiba Corp. would step in to help Elpida at the behest of the Japanese government. Toshiba reportedly denied interest in investing in Elpida.
Exactly how a merger with Micron and Nanya would be restructured is unclear. Micron and Nanya jointly develop technology together under a partnership agreement and also maintain a joint venture, Taiwanese DRAM maker Inotera Memories Inc. If the Yomiuri report is accurate, it's possible that the firms are discussing adding Elpida to Inotera or making Elpida a separate joint venture.
The U.S. International Trade Commission said late last year it would launch investigations into complaints that Elpida and Nanya filed against one another. Each company claims that the other is infringing on its patents.