March 27, 2006 – Siemens AG has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to sell its 1.2 billion euro ($1.4 billion) stake in Infineon Technologies AG, closing its ties to the chip unit it spun off in 2000. Pricing for the upcoming share sale was not announced. The company previously sold big chunks of its ownership in 2001 and 2004.
The Siemens selloff comes at a time when Infineon is preparing its own spinoff of its memory unit. Recent media reports have suggested that Infineon wants to complete that deal before the originally projected date of July 1, in order to evaluate a new strategic direction — a possible acquisition in Japan to gain a foothold in the semiconductor market serving domestic automotive manufacturers. Such a move is seen as faster and simpler than trying to build domestic confidence in the German firm, according to the Financial Times Deutschland.
Infineon posted revenues of 1.67 billion euros (US $2.04 billion) in fiscal 1Q06 ended in Dec., down 3% sequentially and 8% year-on-year, with losses widening to 183 million euros ($224.0 million) vs. a profit of 142 million euros ($173.8 million) a year ago. Memory products revenues slumped 11% year-on-year and were 40% of overall sales, but accounted for nearly two-thirds of the overall loss.