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China to invest in Qimonda, reports say

March 16, 2009 //

According to media reports here, Chinese software vendor Inspur (Shandong, China) is one of the suitors for insolvent memory chip vendor Qimonda. While insolvency administrator Michael Jaffˇ declined to comment, market watchers say the company has submitted a "substantial" offer.


MUNICH, Germany — According to media reports here, Chinese software vendor Inspur (Shandong, China) is one of the suitors for insolvent memory chip vendor Qimonda. While insolvency administrator Michael Jaffé declined to comment, market watchers say the company has submitted a "substantial" offer.

State-owned Inspur is interested in buying a 50 percent of Qimonda, media reports state. However, the software company would do so only under the condition that the state of Saxony as well as Portugal equally invest as shareholders into the semiconductor vendor. Qimonda's creditors also should take over 15 percent of Qimonda's shares, the Inspur model suggests. The media refer to a letter of insolvency administrator Jaffé to the Saxon state government. A spokesperson of Jaffé's office said the negotiations with potential investors are continuing but declined to provide any details.

The rationale behind Inspur's interest is that China tries to free itself from the stranglehold of the DRAM industry based in Korea, Japan and Taiwan in the first place, the media write.

Sources close to Qimonda acknowledged that there exists such an offer. While Inspur would plan to build a DRAM fab in China, Qimonda's headquarters including administration, R&D and the mainstake of its production could remain in Germany with the backend in Portugal, the insider who asked for anonymity said. "The entrepreneurial leadership as well as the technological expertise could stay in Dresden", the person acknowledged.

While the Portuguese government signalized its willingness to take over a stake in the insolvent company, the Saxon state government remained skeptical. Saxon Prime Minister Stanislaw Tillich said without a detailed business plan the topic is beyond discussion.

Past Friday (March 13), Tillich had med with European Commission President José Manuel Barroso to discuss the Qimonda case. At the meeting, Barroso said that the commission would offer an accelerated assessment and thus create a legal framework for higher state aid.

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