NEC, Hitachi ask Intel to fund DRAM company

Jan. 6, 2003 – Tokyo, Japan – NEC Corp. and Hitachi Ltd. have started negotiations with Intel Corp., requesting that Intel take a stake in their joint venture.

The two companies and Intel are currently holding talks regarding an equity deal involving Elpida Memory Inc., which is equally owned by NEC and Hitachi, reported the Financial Times. The firms hope to reach an agreement by the end of the fiscal year, sources said.

By gaining Intel’s equity participation, NEC and Hitachi aim to make Elpida one of top three makers of multipurpose DRAM chips in the world, rivaling Samsung Electronics Co. and Micron Technology Inc.

NEC and Hitachi are also considering inviting foreign chipmakers other than Intel to participate in the deal, sources said. But the two companies aim to maintain their joint stake in Elpida at 51% or more.

“If it eventuates that Japan no longer has a multipurpose DRAM maker wholly capitalized domestically–even though Japan has a huge electronics industry–it could give rise to concerns over national security,” Hitachi President Etsuhiko Shoyama said.


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