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.
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.
Surprised Intel hasn't stepped in to prevent the disappearance of Elpida. Elpida's plan only weakens Micron further, and still not enough to save it. Elpida's market share of DRAM will go to Samsung/Hynix very soon. Maybe Elpida should visit Intel for help.
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