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Infineon DRAM biz to spin off as Qimonda

IPO at some point, presumably

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Infineon's memory division will become a separate entity - named Qimonda - on 1 May, the company said today.

Based in Munich, Qimonda will remain an Infineon subsidiary until it's IPO'd - though the parent company gave no indication when that may happen.

Infineon CEO Wolfgang Ziebert described the move as a "strategic realignment" that will strengthen the "competitive position" of both companies. Infineon, itself a Siemens spin-off, will focus on communications, and automotive and industrial semiconductor products.

Ziebert's opposite number at Qimonda will be Kin Wah Loh, who's been running the memory division since July 2005. Loh described the new firm as a "creative memory products" company...whatever that means.

"Passion is the spirit that runs through our company," he added, "and being fast is what Qimonda will be all about in the dynamic memory market." So there.

Speculation that Infineon would sell or spin-off its memory division mounted in 2005 after the operation's losses began to accumulate and former division chief Andreas von Zitzewitz quit under the cloud of alleged involvement in "payments made for contracts regarding motorsport sponsoring", as the company said at the time.

In November, one market watcher suggested Infineon would split the division's US and non-US operations and sell them to Micron and Nanya, respectively. If that was the plan, it didn't work out, and it was soon reported that Infineon's board favoured separating out the division before making an IPO. Before the month was out, the board had indeed made such a plan public. ®

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