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Flash mem maker Spansion Japan files for bankruptcy

Sale in the works?

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Spansion Inc. - one of the world's largest flash memory makers - says its Japanese unit has filed for bankruptcy protection.

With $810m in liabilities, Spansion Japan voluntarily sought protection from creditors as it attempts to restructure itself according to its parent company.

The parent company does not expect the Japanese filing to affect global operations. "We intend for Spansion Japan to continue to operate throughout the restructuring period," reads a canned statement from John Kispert, Spansion's new president and CEO.

"Our Japanese operations have sufficient cash on hand to meet their immediate, short-term working capital needs and we plan to maintain our high standards of excellence and our commitments to product quality, safety and outstanding customer service."

The parent company is already talking with shareholders about restructuring - and possibly a sale. "We are making progress in our constructive discussions with an ad hoc committee of secured noteholders, to find a mutually beneficial agreement as we seek to resolve Spansion's capital structures," Kispert said.

A joint venture of AMD and Fujitsu, Spansion makes so-called NOR flash memory, a less-popular competitor to NAND flash. The company is the third largest flash manufacturer, behind Samsung and Toshiba. ®

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