SK hynix to decide on Elpida
SK hynix, the world’s No. 2 memory chipmaker, will hold its annual board meeting early today and make a final decision over whether to take over the bankrupt Japanese semiconductor manufacturer Elpida Memory.
``Our top decision-makers including CEO Chey Tae-won will attend the meeting, which is set for 10 a.m. at our main office in Seoul,’’ said Park Hyun, a spokesman for SK hynix, late Thursday.
After the meeting, co-CEOs Chey and Kwon Oh-chul will brief reporters on the outcome.
The board meeting comes after a group of Elpida’s bondholders threatened to thwart an auction of the company’s assets it trustees agreed to a reported selling price of $1.9 billion.
``That’s a good signal for SK hynix. If the deal is delayed, then it will offer a better price,’’ a high-ranking SK executive told The Korea Times.
SK Telecom, the major stakeholder in SK hynix, will be the decisive factor on whether the bid will go ahead. It declined to comment as senior executives were to hold an internal meeting on the matter.
If SK hynix is successful in the second round of bids due noon, today, it will see synergy effects from Elpida’s technology in chips for smartphones and other data-intensive digital devices, Kim Joon-ho, the company’s executive vice president said.
The firm offered 2 trillion won for a controlling stake in Elpida in the first round of bidding, according to sources directly involved with the deal.
Amid the rising popularity of smartphones, memory chipmakers are drastically shifting their focus to non-memory chips. Analysts say taking over Elpida will give SK hynix a chance to narrow the gap with sector leader Samsung Electronics.
``Chey, who is also the SK Group chairman, wants to absorb Elpida as he believes the acquisition will put SK hynix in a better position to bolster its international business,’’ said an SK source.
Chey previously hosted institutional investors from the Middle East at a hotel in Seoul for a briefing on the synergy expected from the deal, according to various SK sources.
``As the demand for chip-embedded products is expected to rise through next year, it makes sense for SK hynix to make a final bid for Elpida,’’ said Kim Sung-in, a senior analyst at Kium Securities.
SK is competing with Micron Technology of the United States and Hony Capital for Elpida.