Japan's Elpida files for bankruptcy, to delist

Last Japanese memory chipmaker seeks protection from debtors after fall in semiconductor prices and inability to get new financing result in debts amounting to US$5.5 billion, report says.

Japan's last computer memory chip manufacturer Elpida Memory has filed for bankruptcy and will delist from the Tokyo Stock Exchange, after the company fails to turn its fortunes around due to a fall in semiconductor prices and failure to secure fresh funding.

Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that the company lost money for five straight quarters and, unable to sustain debts of 448 billion yen (US$5.5 billion), filed for bankruptcy at the Tokyo District Court on Monday. It will also be delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Mar. 28, it added.

Company CEO Yukio Sakamoto revealed yesterday that expected funding from its partners did not materialize in the end. "We didn't hear detailed proposals from potential partners. We had expected to hear various offers," Sakamoto said in the report.

Japan's government and banks in 2009 bailed out the struggling company when they provided 140 billion yen (US$1.7 billion) in financial aid and loans, the report said.

The company was reportedly in the final stages of merger negotiations with U.S.-based Micron Technology, and Taiwanese company Nanya Technology, in a bid to regain lost ground in the global semiconductor memory market, which is currently dominated by South Korean players such as Samsung. Nanya subsequently denied that it was part of the deal.


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