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Life in the DRAM business is getting tougher, and the latest to feel the squeeze is Viking Components.

The Californian memory assembler is exploring its "strategic alternatives"with a little help from an investment bank, The Orange County Business Journal reports. In other words the company is up for sale.

Citing an unnamed industry source, the OCBJ says the DRAM firm has hired Los Angeles investment bank Murphy Noell Capital LLC to "find a suitor or something else".

SimpleTech, a rival and bigger memory assembler, also based in Orange County could be a potential buyer, according to OCBJ's source claims. The paper notes that Simpletech is suffering production constraints.

But is buying another company the best way to resolve this? Surely it would be cheaper and less risk to sub-contract assembly to one of the many companies with spare capacity?

Viking is one of relatively few brand-name DRAM suppliers. The company would be worth more to a DRAM manufacturer to act as brand-name reseller, in the way Crucial acts for its parent company, Micron Technologies, than to a rival brand name.

Viking currently employs 400 people in Orange County. How many people will be left if the company is sold

Glenn McCusker, Viking co-CEO, wouldn't talk to the OCBJ about the investment bank or about any sale. But then why should he? ®

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