SAN FRANCISCO—Micron Technology Inc. will acquire Intel Corp.'s stake in two IM Flash Technologies LLC fabs operated by the two companies for about $600 million, the companies said Tuesday (Feb. 28).
Micron (Boise, Idaho) and Intel (Santa Clara, Calif.) will continue to jointly operate the IM Flash fab in Lehi, Utah. According to Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy, Intel retains a 49 percent stake in that fab.
But, under the agreement announced Tuesday, Micron takes over Intel's stake in the 300-mm IM Flash Singapore fab in Singapore and the assets of IM Flash's portion of a 300-mm fab in Manassas, Va., the companies said. The Manassas fab builds DRAM for Micron but also has part of its capacity dedicated to building NAND for IM Flash.
Mulloy characterized the deal as Intel decreasing its stake in the complicated joint venture first established in 2006. The venture was actually structured under two separate JV agreements—the original JV and IM Flash Singapore—and this deal streamlines it, Mulloy said. "It's just a cleaner structure," Mulloy said.
The companies also announced a NAND flash supply agreement for Micron to supply NAND to Intel. Specific terms of the supply agreement were not disclosed. But the companies said Micron would pay approximately half of the $600 million to acquire Intel's stake in the two IM Flash fabs in cash, while the remainder would be set aside and applied toward future purchases of NAND.
The two companies also agreed to extend their NAND flash joint development R&D and expand it to include emerging memory technologies.
Intel began scaling back its involvement in the IM Flash Singapore JV in 2010, as the fab was preparing to ramp, when Intel cut back its investment in capital for the fab, thus decreasing its stake.
Micron last week announced that it increased its stake in Inotera Memories Inc., its Taiwanese DRAM joint venture with Nanya Technology Corp. Micron was also reportedly in talks to acquire or take a stake in Elpida Memory Inc., the Japanese DRAM maker which filed for bankruptcy Monday.
"The new NAND flash supply agreement with Micron gives Intel better flexibility to meet growing demand for SSDs and other products," said Robert Crooke, corporate vice president and general manager of Intel's Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group, in a statement.
The deal announced Tuesday is expected to close in the first half of this year, the companies said.
Micron and Intel said the Lehi fab is in production of 20-nm NAND.