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Micron, Hynix deal to be announced next week?

Unlikely

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When will Micron make a bid for Hynix's memory operation - assuming, of course, it decides to do so? Officially, neither Hynix nor Micron will offer any guidance as to when investors and observers should expect an offer, but at least one member of the committee overseeing Hynix's recovery claims it could come as early as next week.

"We predict Micron will come back with an offer if we stick to the schedule," said Lee Kwang Seok, an official at the Hynix Restructuring Committee, the body formed by the ailing chip maker's creditors to manage the company's immediate future. That could happen next week, he suggested.

However, a more circumspectd Choi Soo, the Restructuring Committee's secretary general, cited by Bloomberg, said that his colleague couldn't know and shouldn’t have said when Micron will table an offer.

Right now, the two companies involved will only admit that Micron's investigatory team has returned to the US, and that a framework for negotiations has been agreed. Hynix's chief executive, Park Chong Sup, will lead his company's negotiators. On 3 December, he said initial, exploratory talks would be complete by the end of the month. In the event, they were completed last week.

Even so, it would be surprising indeed if Micron made an offer next week. We may hear that it has decided not to pursue a deal with Hynix, but anything more than a statement that negotiations will begin shortly is unlikely. Both companies said on Monday that if negotiations do take place, we won't hear the results announced until the end of the year. As the HP-Compaq deal shows, it takes a long time to organise a merger. And that's from the time the two companies agree to pursue such a course - Micron and Hynix haven't even got that far yet. ®

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