Micron to buy Elpida, DRAM market left with 3 competitors

By on July 2, 2012, 12:30 PM

Bloomberg brings news from Japan that U.S-based chipmaker Micron Technology will purchase Japanese rival Elpida. This falls in line with a statement made last month by CEO Mark Durcan that Micron would make the purchase, but only if it could avoid stock dilution and the acquisition of too much interest-bearing debt.

Micron is the last major U.S-based maker of memory chips, well known for its brand of Crucial memory and its solid entries into the SSD space. Elpida is a major supplier or memory chips for Apple.

Elpida filed for bankruptcy in February due a perfect storm of falling DRAM prices and Japan's increasingly strong currency, a combination which makes it difficult to export goods which are both profitable and competitively priced.

Micron is said to be paying about 140 billion yen -- or about 1.76 billion dollars -- just to shed a portion of Elpida's debt. The report also claims that Micron will also be investing about 100 billion yen in Elpida's facilities, a shot in the arm which should bolster its ability to crank out DRAM chips.

Micron's absorption of Elpida will leave the global DRAM market with only three competitors: Samsung, Hynix and Micron. Currently, Samsung owns about 41 percent of the market while Hynix comes in a distant second at 24 percent. Both Micron and Elpida weigh in around 12 percent each, meaning their combined total will essentially tie them with Hynix in terms of market volume.




User Comments: 5

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EEatGDL said:

I'm a bit confused about the 3 competitors. What does Kingston do? Design, manufacture, supply, ... and these 3 companies? I mean, I want to know to understand the difference of what each do. I didn't know only 3 were considered. If someone knows it would be very clarifying.

Hondosan said:

"140 billion yen -- or about 12.6 million dollars"

Seems a little off.

Guest said:

EEatGDL said:

I'm a bit confused about the 3 competitors. What does Kingston do? Design, manufacture, supply, ... and these 3 companies? I mean, I want to know to understand the difference of what each do. I didn't know only 3 were considered. If someone knows it would be very clarifying.

Kingston manufacture memory MODULES.

The other 3 manufacture memory CHIPS used in the memory MODULES.

From the Kingston website:

DRAM Suppliers

Kingston has developed long-term relationships with the leading DRAM manufacturers. Our DRAM chips are purchased directly from these manufacturers, which include Elpida, Hynix, Infineon, Renesas, Samsung, Toshiba and others. The components are shipped directly from the manufacturer's facility to Kingston's facility minimizing handling and exposure to damage.

All DRAM chips delivered to Kingston are scrutinized to ensure that only premium, qualified, and tested DRAM is accepted. As a leading DRAM customer, Kingston receives excellent quality and availability of DRAM chips. This availability allows Kingston to offer a wide variety of memory modules from those for legacy systems to the latest systems.

Guest said:

Quite. It should be $1.75 billion = 140 billion yen, as they're ysing a currency converion rate of 1 dollar = 80 yen.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

Fixed the conversion slip up (waaaay off). Thanks for the heads up.

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