Hynix/Micron deal delayed by $2B price dispute

Seoul, Korea – Hynix Semiconductor Inc. wants nearly $2 billion more for its core assets than Micron Technology Inc. is offering.

Hynix’s major creditor said the Korean company proposed a sale price of almost $5 billion to Micron after the US chip giant offered more than $3 billion, reported Reuters.

“No agreement has been reached and there are no further discussions planned at this time,” Micron’s Spokesman Sean Mahoney told Reuters.

An official at Korea Exchange Bank, Hynix’s main creditor, said pricing differences have been the key obstacle to the deal.

“We expect Micron to give an answer by the end of this week whether to accept the counter proposals,” the creditor bank official said.

Analysts expect the companies to meet halfway on the price for a deal that would put their combined output capacity ahead of top-ranked Samsung Electronics Co.

Hynix CEO Park Chong-sup is expected to return from talks in the US early this week to brief Hynix’s reform committee and creditors on the negotiations, a Hynix spokesman said.

Despite the price sticking point, analysts said Hynix’s creditors and Micron were likely to move the deal forward and that talks continued at a working level.

“Creditors want to wrap up the deal as soon as possible as it will help them separate from the debt-ridden chipmaker,” said Koo Hee-jin, an LG Securities & Investment analyst.

The asset sale will help creditors recoup 8.64 trillion won ($6.56 billion) in loans extended to Hynix and two multibillion-dollar bailouts offered last year.

Analysts expected a deal to be agreed midway between the two sides’ proposals — around $4 billion — as Micron wanted Hynix’s memory capacity to increase its pricing power in the semiconductor industry.

Analysts said the final price would depend on the scope of the asset sale, as Hynix was considering selling stakes in its non-memory chip division along with its entire memory chip unit.


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