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ProMOS to reopen 300mm fab auction in two weeks

Gives TSMC, UMC and Globalfoundries another chance
Thu Nov 29 2012, 14:09

DRAM MAKER ProMOS will reopen the auction for its 300mm wafer fab in December after failing to receive any bids earlier.

ProMOS shuttered its 300mm fab and has had it up for sale as the firm struggles to stay in business against competition from Samsung and Hynix. After the firm's initial attempt to sell its manufacturing assets saw no bids, ProMOS is preparing to reopen the auction within two weeks.

ProMOS' fab has a book value of $660m and interest had been expected from TSMC, UMC and Globalfoundries. Reuters' sources claim that the three firms are interested but did not submit bid documents, though they expect that two weeks will be enough time for the interested parties to prepare bid documents, with the price remaining the same as before.

The DRAM market has been in the doldrums for years with demand decreasing and margins falling, resulting in Japanese DRAM outfit Elpida filing for bankruptcy. While Micron is busy trying to buy Elpida, it seems that chip foundries rather than DRAM makers are interested in increasing capacity with ProMOS' plant.

ProMOS has debts of $1.9bn and halted production last year, so even if it does sell its major assets, the firm will still have to come up with well over a billion dollars to service its debt. µ


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