Wed, Mar 16, 2005 - Page 11 News List

Winbond to buy PC unit

STRENGTHENING CAPABILITIES The local DRAM chipmaker's stock rose on news that it plans to buy an advanced PC unit from National Semiconductor

By Lisa Wang and Kevin Chen  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Winbond Electronics Corp (華邦電子), one of the nation's leading dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) chipmakers, yesterday announced that it will purchase the advanced PC division of the Santa Clara, California-based National Semiconductor for around NT$2 billion (US$65 million).

Winbond said the acquisition of National's PC unit, whose revenue accounted for about 10 percent of Winbond's annual revenue last year, will help strengthen its technological and research capabilities in the development of personal computers and their peripherals.

The proposed buy-out is also expected to strengthen the Hsinchu, Taiwan-based company's competitiveness and help improve its product lineup, Winbond said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange Corp.

Boosted by the news, shares of Winbond rose NT$0.05, or 0.43 percent, to close at NT$11.65.

"National's advanced PC division will be a tremendous addition to our company and accelerate our ability to deliver high-end mixed signal, I/O and advanced system solutions to our customers," Winbond chairman Arthur Chiao (焦佑鈞) said in a news release.

For its US partner, "The sale is consistent with National's ongoing program to maximize resources and support for the company's analog business," National Semiconductor said in a news release.

"The sale benefits both companies," chairman and chief executive officer Brian Halla of National, said in the release. "National is committed to focusing on its core analog portfolio. Winbond, meanwhile, is well positioned to leverage our digital and mixed-signal IP with their established line of products for the computer, laptop and server markets."

Mike Liu (劉重光), deputy director of Winbond's public relations, yesterday told the cable television USTV that the deal will also invite important customers locally and abroad for Winbond in the future. He didn't elaborate.

National's advanced PC division currently recruits about 150 workers, most of whom are located at a research and design center in Herzlia, Israel.

While these 150 workers are expected to join Winbond's headquarters at the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區) as part of the deal, a National official said that arrangement has not yet been finalized.

"Details about the allocation of those workers are still in discussion," Cecilia Fok (霍穎儀), a communications manager of National's Asia Pacific division, told the Taipei Times in a phone interview yesterday.

Fok said they would have a final decision on the issue before the deal closes by May.

In the release, National said the deal is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005, which Fok said is sometime around May.

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