Thu, Nov 29, 2012 - Page 14 News List

ProMOS plans auction of assets to boost its finances

FINANCIALLY STRICKEN:After a year of financial woe in which it failed to repay debts and was hit by falling prices, the company will sell off assets as it restructures

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Debt-ridden memorychip maker ProMOS Technologies Inc (茂德科技) is scheduled to auction off an advanced 12-inch factory, equipment and office building in Taichung for a floor price of NT$19.5 billion (US$669.5 million) today, paving the way for the company to start a restructuring plan.

Local contract chipmakers Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), United Microelectronics Corp (聯電) and private contract chipmaker GlobalFoundries Inc are interesting in bidding for its assets, one of ProMOS restructuring trustees told Taiwan Financial Asset Service Corp (台灣金服), a Chinese-language newspaper reported.

Taiwan Financial Asset is helping ProMOS with the auction.

Vanguard International Semiconductor Corp (世界先進), which makes driver integrated circuits for LCD panels, could be another potential buyer of ProMOS’ assets.

The company said on Friday that it was evaluating the possibility of buying a factory to meet growing customer demand. Vanguard is 39 percent owned by TSMC.

ProMOS aims to transfer the assets to the winning bidder by the end of next month and hopes the buyer can restore the factory’s operations by the Lunar New Year holidays, which falls in February, Lu Daung-yen (呂東英), one of the firm’s trustees said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange on Nov. 5 after the first creditors’ meeting on ProMOS’ restructuring.

Last month, ProMOS’ major credit banks, Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合庫金庫銀行) and Bank of Taiwan (台灣銀行), received the go-ahead from the Hsinchu District Court to liquidate the financially troubled chipmaker. The company was also forced to delist its shares from the local stock market.

Lu, Eleanor Chin (金玉瑩) and ProMOS chairman Chen Min-liang (陳民良) were picked as ProMOS restructuring trustees.

The chipmaker said earlier that it planned to gradually cut 1,300 employees from its workforce in an attempt to transform into a chip designer from a chip manufacturer.

ProMOS failed to pay back NT$50 billion in bank loans after chronic chip price declines.

Last year alone, the memorychip maker lost NT$12.66 billion.

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