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Fujitsu, Panasonic may merge chip units

Posted: 04 Feb 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:semiconductor  joint venture  LSI chip 

Japanese electronics majors Fujitsu Ltd and Panasonic are reportedly planning to merge their loss-making semiconductor businesses.

According to a report by Japan's national public broadcasting organisation NHK, the two companies are considering setting up a new joint venture company by March 2014. Part of the funding is expected to come from a bank affiliated with the government, the report states.

The bank is potentially the Innovation Network Corp. of Japan (INCJ), a public-private partnership that was involved in the bailout of Renesas Electronics Corp. late last year.

The two firms are also in talks with the Development Bank of Japan over a potential investment worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to the report.

But Fujitsu denied that a merger deal was imminent. "Today there were certain media reports concerning the Fujitsu Group's semiconductor business. These reports are not based on any official announcement made by Fujitsu or interview between a Fujitsu executive and the media. No decision has been made regarding this matter," Fujitsu said in a statement published on the company's website.

Fujitus and Panasonic, along with Renesas, began negotiating a potential merger of their system LSI chip businesses more than a year ago. Renesas is presumably no longer involved in the discussions.

According to the NHK report, the venture between Fujitsu and Panasonic plans to use leading foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) to produce its chips.

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