Sun, Aug 23, 2009 - Page 11 News List

Texas Instruments bids for Qimonda machinery

BALANCE SHEET: Texas Instruments said that it was in a position to make strategic moves such as this bid now to strengthen its long-term position

BLOOMBERG

Texas Instruments Inc, the second-largest US semiconductor maker, bid US$172.5 million for manufacturing machinery in a Richmond, Virginia, plant owned by bankrupt German memory-chip maker Qimonda AG.

The bid was disclosed in a court filing by Qimonda, which filed for bankruptcy in February after a string of losses caused by low prices in an industry glut.

MACHINERY

Modern chipmaking facilities cost more than US$3 billion to build, with the majority of that going toward machinery made by companies such as Applied Materials Inc.

Texas Instruments wants the equipment to build what its says will be the first plant to use a new type of production gear for analog chips, which are used to convert sound and motion into electronic signals.

“TI’s strong balance sheet allows us to make significant strategic moves in weak economic environments such as today’s to significantly strengthen our long-term position in our core product lines,” spokeswoman Kim Morgan said in an e-mail.

STALKING HORSE

The offer is a so-called ­stalking-horse bid, which guarantees Texas Instruments will purchase the assets if no other potential buyers top it.

The equipment will be auctioned in New York on Sept. 23 if Qimonda gets another qualified bid by Sept. 21.

If Texas Instruments loses out, it will receive a breakup fee of US$4.3 million and up to US$750,000 to cover expenses.

Texas Instruments rose US$0.43, or 1.8 percent, to US$24.54 at 4pm in New York Stock Exchange trading. The stock has gained 58 percent this year.

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