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Mon, Dec 21, 2009 - Page 10 News List

Hynix lenders to accept bids for stake by January


Hynix Semiconductor Inc creditors will accept letters of intent from potential bidders for their controlling stake in the world’s second-largest maker of computer-memory chips by Jan. 29.

The sale arrangers will send out notices to domestic companies today, the Korea Exchange Bank, the South Korean chipmaker’s main lender, said in a statement yesterday. Creditors of Hynix plan to sell all or part of their 28 percent stake, valued at about 3.6 trillion won (US$3.1 billion) based on Hynix’s closing price on Dec. 18, the Korea Exchange Bank said.

Creditors are trying to sell Hynix for a second time after Hyosung Corp dropped its bid last month because of speculation that it received political favors to pursue the takeover.

The Korea Exchange Bank said last month creditors will resume their search for a domestic buyer as they try to recoup the US$4.6 billion spent bailing out the chipmaker.

“The industry outlook has turned more positive, and there may be more interest than before,” said Kim Young-joon, head of equities at NH-CA Asset Management Co in Seoul.

“Even if only part of the stake is sold, I think decision-making process will get better than under the current ownership, comprised of financial companies,” Kim said.

Hynix is seen capable of investing about 2.3 trillion won next year even after repaying about 1 trillion won in debt, which should help the company widen the gap with its rivals, the Korea Exchange Bank said. The chipmaker said in October its spending budget for next year will be more than 1.5 trillion won, compared with about 1 trillion won this year.

“Now is the right time for Hynix’s acquisition and we hope many companies will participate in the sale,” the Korea Exchange Bank said in the statement.

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