Fri, Jan 06, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Elpida Inc sought US$500m from firms: ‘Yomiuri’


Elpida Memory Inc, the Japanese chipmaker being reorganized with government support, has sought US$500 million from 10 companies in the US, Taiwan and China as it faces about ¥122 billion (US$1.6 billion) in debt due by April, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

The chipmaker declined to comment on the newspaper report yesterday in an e-mail.

The Tokyo-based company also may ask Toshiba Corp for help, the newspaper reported without saying where it got the information.

Elpida and rival makers of DRAM chips lost a combined US$14 billion in the past three years as prices plunged and demand shifted toward smartphones and tablets that use flash memory chips, including those made by Toshiba.

“If Elpida becomes more competitive through structural reforms and rationalization, we might be able to help with our processing technology,” Toshiba president Norio Sasaki said yesterday at a New Year’s party for a Japanese business association in Tokyo. “We are not in such a situation yet.”

Japan’s government may push for integration between chipmaking operations at Elpida and Toshiba to improve competitiveness against South Korean rivals, the Chinese-language DigiTimes reported on Tuesday, citing industry officials it didn’t identify.

Shares of Elpida slumped 7.4 percent to close at ¥350 in Tokyo trading yesterday, bringing its decline in the past 12 months to 66 percent, compared with an 18 percent drop for the Nikkei 225 Stock Average.

Elpida had losses totaling about ¥287 billion during the past 10 fiscal years.

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