Sanyo spinning off chip biz

April 3, 2006 – Sanyo Electric Co. plans to shed its lossmaking semiconductor business by as early as July, as part of restructuring efforts, noted Japanese press reports.

The new spinoff company, to be established July 3, will be wholly owned by Sanyo, based in Gunma Prefecture with 2300 employees and capitalized at ¥5 billion (about US $35.0 million). Teruo Tabata, president of Sanyo’s in-house semiconductor unit, will be president of the independent firm.

Sony is revamping four of its major operations, including selling shares in its financial arm and forming a flat-panel JV with Taiwanese contractor Quanta Computer, but as yet has not disclosed plans to overhaul its white goods operation.

Sanyo’s chip operation posted sales of ¥166.5 billion ($1.17 billion) in the fiscal year ended in March, 11% of the parent company sales, but profitability has suffered due to soft demand and falling prices of digital goods, as well as a major earthquake in Oct. 2004 that damaged the company’s facility in Niigata Prefecture.


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