Nanya Tech may sell Inotera stake to Micron

By Chinmei Sung, Bloomberg

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Nanya Technology Corp., Taiwan’s second-biggest maker of computer-memory chips, is considering selling a stake in Inotera Memories Inc., its venture with Qimonda AG, to Micron Technology Inc. “It’s one of the options if we buy Qimonda’s stake in Inotera,” Nanya Senior Vice President Moor Chen said by phone yesterday. He declined to say if Nanya and Micron, which announced in April they will invest US$1.1 billion to form a venture to share costs, are in talks on such a sale or to comment on other options. Nanya and Qimonda, the memory-chip unit of Infineon Technologies AG, each own about 35 percent of Taoyuan-based Inotera, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The two shareholders said in March they are in talks over the future of the venture, after falling prices caused Munich-based Qimonda to scale back investments. Shares of Boise, Idaho-based Micron fell the most in two months Tuesday after Lazard Capital Markets LLC said the company may spend about US$1 billion to expand output capacity and is “highly likely” to buy Qimonda’s stake in Inotera. Doug Freedman, an analyst with American Technology Research in San Francisco, said Micron’s lack of cash resources means the company may have to raise funds.

Daniel Francisco, a spokesman at Micron, the biggest U.S. computer chipmaker, said Tuesday the company doesn’t comment on “rumor or conjecture.” Francisco couldn’t be reached on his mobile phone after office hours yesterday. Taoyuan-based Nanya and Qimonda aim to finalize details on their stakes in Inotera in June, Charles Kau, president of the venture, said by telephone yesterday.