Micron Technology briefly hinted on its website July 29 (but has since pulled the announcement) that it would unveil an historic merger July 31.
In late June, Japan's Nikkei newspaper reported that Boise-based Micron was set to buy bankrupt Japanese chipmaker Elpida Memory for an estimated 200 billion yen ($2.5 billion).
In early May, Micron won the right to negotiate exclusively for Elpida. If successful with the takeover, Reuters reported that Micron could "more than double its global market share."
Currently, Samsung Electronics is the world's biggest maker of memory chips used in personal computers, but by acquiring Elpida, Micron could boost its share to 25 percent, surpassing South Korea's SK Hynix, and becoming the second-biggest player in the memory chip marketplace.
Elpida, which specializes in chips for smartphones and tablets, filed for bankruptcy protection in February, reporting 448 billion yen in liabilities. Part of Micron's offer could be used to repay Elpida's debts and part would be invested in the chipmaker's operations.
Micron’s purchase of Elpida would mark “the end of a perfectly competitive market as Samsung, Hynix, and the new Micron team become the three main players in an oligopolistic market,” TrendForce said in a June 6 statement.
When a June 7 deadline came and passed with no hint of a legal challenge, Micron took a step closer toward its acquisition of Elpida Memory.
It has been nearly a year since Micron announced it wanted to take over the Japanese rival for $750 million, in a move that would expand the Boise-based Micron's portfolio deeper into the world of dynamic random access memory. In addition to the $750 million cash (approximately 60 billion yen), Micron would pay 140 billion yen to cover Elpida's debt. All in, the deal is close to $2.5 billion.
"We are creating the industry-leading pure play memory company," said Micron CEO Mark Durcan. "[The] transactions will help strengthen the combined companies' market position in the memory industry through increased research and development and manufacturing scale."
Elpida's U.S. creditors had until 4 p.m. on June 7 to object to a request by Elpida to have a U.S. bankruptcy court issue orders that would enforce the restructuring in Japan. Reuters reports that the bondholders are led by U.S. hedge funds Linden Advisors, Owl Creek Asset Management and Taconic Capital Advisers.
But Reuters reports that the key deadline came and went and that the planned acquiston "appeared to move closer to completion."
At the close of business Thursday, officials at Boise-based Micron reported that the company had lost $275 million in the first quarter of its fiscal year—it's sixth straight quarterly loss.
Total losses over the past six quarters were $1.4 billion.
Micron pointed to declining sales for its recent loses.
Micron stock hit $6.79 per share at the closing bell of the NASDAQ exchange.
In remarks before the City Club of Boise on Aug. 28, Micron CEO Mark Durcan said Micron was proud to call Boise home, but the company is regularly competing in a global economy, with 68 percent of its 2011 revenue coming from Asian markets, 11 percent coming from Europe, and 21 percent generated in the Americas. Durcan said, historically, more than 40 companies have entered the business of memory-chip manufacturing but most have dropped by the wayside, leaving only eight competitors for Micron.
"We've come a long way, but the business landscape isn't any safer," he said.
Boise-based Micron Technology posted a bigger loss and lower sales for its fourth quarter this afternoon, the company's fifth straight quarterly loss.
Micron reported a net loss of $243 million, or 24 cents per share. The quarterly loss raises the company's red ink in the last fiscal year (which ended in August) to $1.03 billion.
"Our focus throughout 2013 is to drive additional cost reductions and advance our leading-edge memory technology to achieve increased manufacturing efficiencies," Micron CEO Mark Durcan said in a news release.
Durcan spoke before a sold-out gathering at the Aug. 28 City Club meeting, where he cautioned that his "business landscape isn't any safer."
"I think we've done a lot of things right over the years," said Durcan. "We've been clever about how we access capital and how we grow."
It's official. Late Sunday evening, Micron Technology announced that it was taking over Japanese rival Elpida Memory for $750 million, in a move that is expected to grow the Boise-based chipmaker and extend its portfolio deeper into the world of dynamic random access memory marketplace. In addition to the $750 million cash (approximately 60 billion yen), Micron will pay 140 billion yen in upcoming annual installments to cover Elpida's debt. All in, the deal is close to $2.5 billion.
Elpida, which specializes in chips for smartphones and tablets, filed for bankruptcy protection in February, reporting 448 billion yen in liabilities.
Currently, Samsung Electronics is the world's biggest maker of memory chips used in personal computers, but by acquiring Elpida, Micron is expected to boost its share to 25 percent, surpassing South Korea's SK Hynix, and becoming the second-biggest player in the memory-chip marketplace.
Additionally, Micron announced this morning that it is buying a 24 percent stake in Rexchip Electronics Corporation from the Powerchip Technology Corporation for approximately $334 million. Since Elpida owns a 65 percent stake in Rexchip, Micron will now own 89 percent of that company once both deals close.
At this morning's opening bell of the NASDAQ exchange, Micron shares bumped up 5 percent to $6.62 per share.
Micron shares dropped 5 percent at the opening bell of the NASDAQ exchange this morning, while executives at the Boise-based company remain tight-lipped about reports of their desire to purchase Japanese semiconductor chip maker Elpida Memory. Reuters reported that Micron was given exclusive rights to negotiate with the bankrupt Japanese company, which listed $5 billion in liabilities. Reuters said that Micron could be in line to purchase Elpida for $2.5 billion.
Meanwhile, Micron officials are expected to surface at several high-profile events, including today's MobileFocus event in New Orleans, one of the nation's largest showcases for portable technologies. Brian Shirley, Micron vice president of DRAM solutions, is in New York City today to address the Jefferies Global TMT Conference. Shirley is expected to address "future memory trends in the DRAM industry." Wednesday, May 9, Micron VP of NAND solutions Glen Hawk will address financial analysts at the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Global Technology Conference in San Francisco.
Boise-based Micron Technology won the right to negotiate exclusively to buy Elpida Memory, a Japanese chipmaker, according to Reuters. Micon offered more than 200 billion yen ($2.5 billion) for Elpida. If successful with the takeover, Reuters reported that Micron could "more than double its global market share."
Currently, Samsun Electronics is the world's biggest maker of memory chips used in personal computers, but by acquiring Elpida, Micron could boost its share to 25 percent, surpassing South Korea's SK Hynix, and becoming the second-biggest player in the memory chip marketplace.
Elpida, which specializes in chips for smartphones and tablets, filed for bankruptcy protection in February, reporting 448 billion yet in liabilities. Part of Micron's offer could be used to repay Elpida's debts and part would be invested in the chipmaker's operations.
As of March 1, Micron had reported $2.1 billion in cash and short-term investments, while long-term debt totaled $2.2 billion.
Micron has settled a nearly two-year tussle with Oracle, who accused the Boise-based company of artificially inflating microchip prices. Oracle's 2010 suit claimed that several companies, including Micron, conspired to raise prices between 1998 and 2002, a violation of federal and state antitrust laws.
In a company statement late Thursday, Micron said the settlement will result in a net loss of $58 million, which pushed its total net losses for the second fiscal quarter of 2012 to $282 million.
At this morning's opening bell of the NASDAQ exchange, Micron stock dropped 2 percent to $8.25 per share.
UPDATE 12:00 p.m.
According to Boise Police, an explosion involving a piece of Micron research and development equipment erupted just before 10 a.m. this morning, two floors below ground level in building 24 D at Micron's Boise campus.
Approximately 200 people who worked in the building were evacuated. All but a handful of the employees have returned to work.
Four workers, two Micron employees and two electrical contractors were injured - one suffered a minor cut to his arm, two are being evaluated for ringing in their ears and a fourth inhaled dust during the blast. Three other workers were also being evaluated after breathing dust. None required hospitalization.
Boise Fire Haz Mat experts were able to confirm no hazardous chemicals were released as a result of the explosion.
Micron will continue to investigate the cause of the explosion.
ORIGINAL POST 11:00 a.m.
Boise Fire and Police are on the scene of an explosion at Micron's Boise plant.
Ada County dispatchers said a possible explosion was reported at 9:52 a.m.
Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan reported, via Twitter, that a piece of research and development equipment exploded inside one of the Micron labs. At least three Micron employees were being evaluated for minor injuries.
Micron stock remained relatively steady on the NASDAQ exchange Thursday-closing at $8.71 per share-prior to late-afternoon news of a second fiscal quarter drop in sales. Micron's shares were down more than 2 percent in after-hours trading.
The Wall Street Journal reported that "declining prices continued to be an issue for the [Boise-based] chip maker, although executives cited improvements in what has been a shaky DRAM market."
Micron reported a fiscal second-quarter loss of $224 million, or 23 cents a share, compared with a profit of $72 million, or 7 cents a share, for the year-earlier period. Revenue totaled $2.1 billion, down from $2.3 billion.