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Hynix creditors rethink China DRAM plant plan

Keener now STMicro may come on board

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Hynix's creditor banks are rethinking their rejection of the memory maker's plan to build a DRAM plant in China, now that there's a chance that STMicroelectronics will come in on the deal.

The Korea Development Bank (KDB), is looking at the scheme once again having voted against it last April, South Korean newspaper JoonAng Daily reports.

"At first the creditors were negative over the plan since Hynix was in the process of normalisation and the semiconductor market outlook was uncertain," Yoo Ji-chang, KDB's governor, told reporters on Tuesday. "However, the creditors have recently been reconsidering the plan as STMicroelectronics... has proposed a joint investment."

STMicro CEO Pasquale Pistorio this week confirmed that his company is in talks with Hynix to form a memory-manufacturing joint venture, and that negotiations could be concluded within six weeks.

At the time, it emerged that the head of STMicro's memory business, Carlo Bozotti, had recently visited South Korea. It is believed he went to discuss the proposed JV with Hynix's creditors.

Hints that the two memory makers were considering such a JV emerged in March this year.

Both memory makers are in talks to fund a $1.5bn plant on mainland China. According to the JoonAng report, Hynix mooted such a move earlier this year only to see it rejected by creditors. It seems they were unhappy with the level of Chinese funding required to realise the project's goals. And if the plant proved unsuccessful, the Chinese would gain a state-of-the-art DRAM facility. ®

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