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Report: Micron to buy Numonyx?

September 04, 2009 //

Rumors are flying that Micron Technology Inc. is mulling over plans to buy Numonyx B.V.

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Rumors are flying that Micron Technology Inc. is mulling over plans to buy Numonyx B.V.

Word on the street is that Micron is seeking to enter the NOR flash market. Some also speculated that Intel Corp. wants to unload its interest in Numonyx.

Could that mean a Micron-Numonyx merger? It's pure speculation for now. A spokesman for Micron declined to comment, saying the company does not comment on rumors. A spokesman for Numonyx declined to comment and said: ''Numonyx doesn't comment on speculation or rumors.''

Micron has some ''interest'' in entering the NOR market, said Dinesh Moorjani, an analyst at Broadpoint.AmTech. ''I would not be surprised if (Micron) is looking at Numonyx,'' he said, but such a deal ''doesn't make sense.''

For one, Micron could take a hit on the balance sheet. On the other hand, Micron may want a NOR play. At one time, in fact, Micron was also looking at NOR rival Spansion Inc.

Perhaps Intel is looking to be the broker in a potential deal between Micron and Numonyx. Intel owns a large stake in Numonyx.

''If I look at Intel's investment strategy, Numonyx is reaching a point where Intel is seeking an exit strategy,'' said Doug Freedman, analyst for Broadpoint AmTech.

Strangely, for some time, Intel has been backing two flash ventures: Numonyx and IM Flash Technologies LLC. IM Flash is a joint NAND partnership between Intel and Micron.

Formed last year, Numonyx is the memory spin-off of Intel and STMicroelectronics. STMicroelectronics holds a 49 percent stake in Numonyx, Intel has 45 percent and Francisco Partners owns 6 percent. The new venture is selling NOR, NAND and phase-change memory, based on technology from Ovonyx Inc.

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