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Japan's Renesas set for £1.6bn rescue plan

Japanese microcontroller-maker to receive government rev-up, says report

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Ailing Japanese chipmaker Renesas Electronics is set to receive a ¥200bn (£1.6bn) investment boost to help prop up the company, the majority of which will come from the government, according to new reports from the Far East.

The state-backed Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) will plough around ¥150bn (£1.2bn) in for two-thirds of Renesas shares, according to several reports citing a Nikkei article.

The remaining ¥50bn (£397m) will apparently be funded by a group of top Japanese tech and auto firms including Panasonic, Canon, Toyota, Nissan and Honda.

The involvement of the car-makers is due to Renesas’ position as the world’s leading producer of microcontroller chips used in cars.

However, the fifth largest chipmaker on the planet has struggled to compete in recent times with local rivals in South Korea and Taiwan and in May was rumoured to be considering cutting a whopping 12,000 jobs.

The firm’s troubles have been mirrored nationwide as Japan’s once-proud semiconductor producers struggle to stay relevant.

Toshiba, Fujitsu Semiconductor and Mitsubishi all joined Renesas by announcing significant revenue losses in Q2 this year while debt-laden Elpida filed for bankruptcy in February.

A strong yen and the lingering effects of last year’s Tohoku tsunami and earthquake are also said to have taken their toll.

It is thought that the firms investing in the ¥200bn rescue package are looking to ensure the steady supply of microcontrollers for their products.

A Renesas spokesperson told The Reg they couldn’t confirm the report. ®

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