Report: Hitachi boxes Elpida stake for future sale

Mar. 26, 2008 – Hitachi has contributed all of its 9.87% ownership stake in Elpida Memory to a new ¥42.24B (US ~$420.8M) retirement benefit trust, paving the way for a future sale of that stake.

Hitachi, currently Elpida’s largest stakeholder, previously had an 11.03% ownership in Elpida, but sold 1.5M shares on the open market last week, netting about ¥4.6B (~$45.8M), according to Reuters. Putting the rest of its ownership in the trust will allow Hitachi to book a ¥21.04B ($209.9M) gain. The company plans to sell the shares once market conditions are favorable, at which point Elpida will cease to be a subsidiary.

Despite the changes, “the business relationship with Hitachi will remain the same, and we do not expect a change in its Elpida share ownership to affect our business performance,” Elpida noted in a statement.

Elpida was established in 1999 as a 50/50 JV between Hitachi and NEC, and each side halved their stakes in 2004, and have been slowly reducing their participation ever since. NEC’s stake in Elpida stood at about 6% as of last September.


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