Report: Is Korea’s Hanwha eyeing Hynix takeover?

Apr. 22, 2008 – Is Korean chemical/finance conglomerate Hanwha Group mulling a bid for domestic chipmaker Hynix Semiconductor? Yes, says the Korea Times, saying the two sides have been “engaged in detailed internal talks.” But Reuters quotes a company spokesperson saying the report is “not true.”

According to the Korea paper, Hanwha is attracted to Hynix as an opportunity to add a new “export-driven” growth business. The group also is reportedly considering whether and how much money to generate on its own for a bid, and/or bring in strategic partners and investors. Adding fuel to the fire is the stated desire of Hynix’s main creditors including the Korea Exchange bank, to sell their ~36% stake by 2H08.

In the Reuters version, citing the Korea Economic Daily and a rumored $4.8B stake, a Hanwha spokesperson noted the company is indeed “interested in a number of M&A targets in the market,” but called this report about taking a Hynix stake “not true.”

The Korea paper recently questioned rumors that LG Electronics was interested in a Hynix stake, which the company later dismissed as “speculation,” noting that “we have learned how to live without a semiconductor business” (LG’s semiconductor unit was taken over by Hyundai Electronics/Hynix in 1999).


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