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SK Hynix drops bid to buy bankrupt Elpida

Joins Toshiba in abandoning DRAMurai warrior's corpse

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South Korean firm SK Hynix said today that it won't be going ahead with a bid for bankrupt Japanese firm Elpida Memory because the deal would have been too expensive.

"The Elpida deal would have been a huge financial investment," an SK Hynix spokesman told the Wall Street Journal. "To ease the financial burden, we had previously hoped to work with possible partners, such as Toshiba, but it didn't work out."

SK Hynix also confirmed in a regulatory filing that its shareholders had agreed to abandon the bidding.

Investors were made very happy by the news, sending the company's shares rising by almost 6 per cent at one point – they were still up by 3.3 per cent at 12.00 BST today.

At the end of last month, Toshiba reportedly pulled out of the running to snap up Elpida because it couldn't sort out a partnership with SK Hynix and didn't want to go it alone. Toshiba's exit was also greeted with relief from investors, growing the firm's shares by 3 per cent on the day the news broke.

With both SK Hynix and Toshiba out of the race, Elpida, whose price tag is rumoured by Japanese media to be about $1.9m, is left to the mercies of US chipmaker Micron or private equity firms.

Elpida, once the world's No 3 DRAM manufacturer, suffered as the world decided it liked NAND chippery much better. It filed for bankruptcy protection in February. ®

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