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Powerchip remains open toward fab sale

2011/12/19 12:51:09

Taipei, Dec. 19 (CNA) Local memory chip-maker Powerchip Technology Corp. said Monday it remains open toward who will acquire its P3 12-inch wafer facilities to help lower its debt level.

Powerchip Vice President Eric Tan said the company has yet to make a decision on the P3 fab disposal plan as the process will involve a bidding stage.

Media reports said Monday that Globalfoundries Inc., which is optimistic about the prospects of Taiwan's IC design sector, is posed to be the latest bidder attempting to acquire Powerchip's P3 fab.

Powerchip's syndicated bank creditors, who approved in late November a one-year rollover on a NT$18.54 billion (US$618 million) loan that would have matured in mid-December, are also helping the company to land the best buyer, Tan said.

Powerchip and its creditors are scheduled to sign the loan rollover pact in January 2012.

Currently the P3 factory churns out about 40,000 dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips a month, according to Tan.

The P3 fab disposal will not impact Powerchip's overall production, he added.

Boosted by the reports, Powerchip's share price rallied by over 5 percent at the TAIEX earlier Monday.

After more than a year of oversupply and price slump, DRAM chip manufacturers are in something of a bind presently, forcing them to take drastic measures to tide over financial difficulties.

(By Jackson Chang and Deborah Kuo)