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STATS ChipPAC sees resignations of 5 board members

from 8/24/2007 – Electronic News

Singapore-based test and packaging services provider STATS ChipPAC Ltd. today announced the resignations of five members of its board of directors.

Without providing further detail, the company said that the resignations are effective as of today. Lim Ming Seong; Steven H. Hamblin; Richard J. Agnich; Park Chong Sup; and Robert W. Conn were named as departing from their posts at the company.

The recent months have been particularly tumultuous for the company, which has been the target of several takeover attempts of late. In March, Singaporean investment firm Temasek Holdings Ltd. launched an offer worth some $1.6 billion for the remaining shares in STATS ChipPAC that Temasek’s holding company, STS, did not already own. At that time, STS owned a 35.6 percent stake in the company. The firm came short of a total takeover, however. By mid-May, Temasek and STS had garnered a majority stake of 83.1 percent of the company, less than the 90 percent stake it needed to take STATS ChipPAC completely private by delisting it from the Singapore Exchange and the Nasdaq.

The discord seems to have spilled over into its sales side, as well: In July, STATS ChipPAC announced disappointing Q2 financial results that it chalked up to “weak demand from certain large customers.” The company’s Q2 sales declined 11.5 percent year-over-year, while its profit fell a whopping 58.8 percent.

When reached by Electronic News, STATS ChipPAC had no comment on the board resignations.

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$121 bln worth of semiconductors sold in the first half of 2007

Worldwide sales of semiconductors grew to $121 bln in the first half of 2007, an increase of 2% from the $118.4 bln during the first half of 2006, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association.

Swiss criminal investigation targets ST dealings

EETimes.com – Swiss criminal investigation targets ST dealings

SAN FRANCISCO — A Swiss prosecutor is conducting a criminal investigation of alleged fraudulent activity pertaining to certain ST Microelectronics currency transactions entered into by the company’s former treasurer between 1998 and 2005, ST said Thursday (Nov. 30).

A prosecutor from Lugano, Switzerland, is conducting the investigation of transactions entered into by Piero Mosconi, who retired in 2005, ST said. These transactions were discontinued at the end of that year, according to ST (Geneva). The company said it filed a criminal complaint about the matter with the authorities in Lugano in September.

ST said it has concluded that the transactions do not have a material impact on the company or on its previously published financial statements. The company said it believes it has taken necessary measures to prevent similar actions from arising in the future through organizational changes in its treasury department.

Dylan McGrath
EE Times

LSI and Agere to Merge

EETimes.com – LSI grabs Agere in $4 billion stock merger

EE Times: Semi News
LSI grabs Agere in $4 billion stock merger

Rick Merritt
EE Times
(12/04/2006 11:52 AM EST)

SAN JOSE, Calif. — In a sign of further consolidation in semiconductors, LSI Logic Corporation and Agere Systems Inc. Monday (Dec. 4) announced that they have entered into a $4 billion agreement to merge the two companies under the LSI Logic name in an all-stock transaction. The combination gives the two players a broader portfolio across electronics, however, the move appears to be more focused on cost savings then creating a new leader in any of their existing markets.

The companies had combined revenue of $3.5 billion for the 12 months ended September 30. The companies have quite different product lines with LSI strong in consumer electronics silicon, while Agere has established itself in cellular and wired networking. Storage is one of the few markets where both companies participate. But even here, LSI is focused on ASICs and adapter cards for RAID and storage interconnects. Agere’s strength is in read channels and ASICs for hard disk drives.

Speaking in a prepared statement, the chief executive of disk drive maker Seagate Technology praised the merger in a sign that the two companies do share limited synergy in storage.

“As valued Seagate partners, both Agere and LSI play an important role in providing products that help us deliver our industry-leading hard drives,” said Bill Watkins of Seagate. “We are excited by the innovative possibilities that this new combination represents,” he added.

By merging, the two companies hope to slash costs by as much as $125 million a year beginning in 2008 from increased efficiencies in manufacturing and operating expenses. Savings will not kick in until 2007, and LSI does not expect to see earnings per share increase until 2008.

No immediate layoffs were announced with the planned merger. The companies have a combined workforce of approximately 9,100 employees, including nearly 4,300 engineers. Together they have more than 10,000 issued and pending U.S. patents.

LSI is clearly taking the lead in the merger. LSI president and chief executive officer Abhi Talwalkar will serve as president and chief executive officer of the new company, which will be headquartered in Milpitas, Calif. Talwalkar, a former division executive from Intel Corp., took the reigns from LSI’s long time chairman Wilf Corrigan recently in an effort to take LSI into its next phase.

LSI non-executive chairman James Keyes will continue as non-executive chairman of the board of directors of the new company, which will be comprised of nine members, with six being designated by LSI and three being designated by Agere.

“By joining forces, we expect the combined scale to enable us to extend our franchises in our market segments, realize significant synergies and better serve the needs of our collective customers, shareholders and employees,” said Talwalkar.

“The complementary products and capabilities of each can enable the combined company to pursue significant new opportunities while delivering more value to customers,” said Richard Clemmer, Agere Systems president and chief executive officer.

Agere shareholders will receive 2.16 shares of LSI for each share of Agere they own based on the closing stock price of $22.81 per share on LSI stock on Dec. 1.

Upon closing, LSI will issue approximately 379 million shares on a diluted basis to complete the transaction. At that time, LSI and Agere shareholders will own approximately 52 percent and 48 percent, respectively, of the combined company.

The transaction is subject to the approval of shareholders from both companies as well as customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. The companies expect the transaction to close in the first calendar quarter of 2007.

Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisor and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati acted as legal counsel to LSI. Goldman, Sachs & Co. acted as financial advisor and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom acted as legal counsel to Agere.

LSI also announced today that its board of directors has authorized a stock repurchase program of up to $500 million. The repurchases are expected to be funded from available cash and short-term investments.

fab utilization

More Support for Our Semiconductor Thesis – Stock Market Beat – Our beat is the stock market. Our job is to beat it.

Gartner has noted in a weekly newsletter to clients that the current fall in wafer fab utilization rates for the third quarter of 2006 show a close correlation to events seen in 2004.The current fall – as with the fall in 2004 – was due to higher than expected output in the second quarter and a subsequent rise in inventory levels that then saw chip manufacturers reduce production in subsequent quarters to correct oversupply imbalances.

Gartner believes that we should expect a slowdown in fab capacity in 2007 as inventory is better managed giving the boost to IC sales/prices in 2008.

Advanced Semiconductor: flame of 15% on mark of interest.

PURSE

(Circle Finances) – Advanced Semiconductor flames from 15,4% to 6,07$ on the NYSE in Wall Street. The Taiwanese group, world leader of the conditioning of microprocessors, indicated Friday to have received a mark of interest on behalf of a consortium of investors controlled by The Carlyle Group. The price evoked within the framework of this abstract offer is 5,94$ per action.

Copyright (c) 2006 Rings Finance

The first commercially packaged, bench-top, nanotechnology instrument, the NanoFlex™ from Farfield Sientifics

WORLD’S FIRST COMMERCIALLY PACKAGED NANOTECHNOLOGY SOLUTION TARGETED AT FMCG PRODUCERS.

Bench-top solution delivers product claim verification, shorter product lead times, reduced manufacturing costs and environmental benefits.

– Nanotechnology comes of age commercially.

Leading nanotechnology and nanometrology company Farfield Group has launched what is being hailed as the first commercially packaged, bench-top, nanotechnology instrument, the NanoFlex™. With unrivalled performance in sub atomic-scale, surface and interfacial measurement, the NanoFlex is initially being targeted at the FMCG market place.

From product claim verification to water and energy conservation, research and manufacturing, the NanoFlex™ is designed to be tailored easily to any application where surface science and molecular scale, nanometrology measurements are required in FMCG research and product development. Until now, the focus of nanotechnology and in particular nanometrology has been largely academic, using scientific instruments or particle accelerators in government research laboratories. Whilst invaluable in pushing the frontiers of science forward, it has been difficult to access the benefits from an industrial perspective. By aiming a commercially packaged system at one of the largest target sectors, FMCG, Farfield believe that they have created a platform for encouraging the widespread commercial adoption of FMCG nanotechnology applications.

The NanoFlex can be used in any application where companies need to measure and differentiate between molecular levels of adsorption, absorption or desorption at a surface. Examples include the removal of substances such as grease or oil from a surface by surfactants or, conversely, the deposition of a substance such as a polymer in conditioners onto a surface. In the consumer goods sector, these are the factors that underwrite many of the product marketing and branding claims made to the public. Verification of these claims, quickly and easily, in a deskilled manner, gives FMCG producers faster lead times to market and allows them to extend and justify marketing claims….

More at Response Source

NewBridge Nanotechnology Index

Since that last odd and old picture, I had to bring more recent news here…

Who will lead the information flow on nanotechnolgies?

The Newbridge Nanotechnology Index (NYSEArca: NNIX) has been constructed to track the stock market performance of companies that are currently active in nanotechnology. We believe that this science, which involves the precise assembly and manipulation of matter at the atomic or molecular level, will serve as the basis for myriad innovations in a wide range of industrial sectors in coming years. For a more extensive treatment of this subject, please request our TrendFocus: Nanotechnology report from June 3, 2004. The original Index included 21 companies at inception, and is weighted by market capitalization. The base date for the Index is June 30, 2004, at which time the base value for the index was set at 1000. We reconstitute and rebalance the index every fiscal quarter.

As of our August 18, 2006 quarterly rebalance, the index includes 25 companies. The third quarter for fiscal 2006 saw one replacement and one addition among the constituents, raising the total number of companies included to 25. Constituents subject to the 10% index weight cap were Headwaters (NYSE: HW), Symyx (NasdaqGS: SMMX) and Veeco (NasdaqGS: VECO). The NNIX ended the quarterly period at 819.80, down 15.1% from the last rebalance on May 18, 2006…..

For more, have a  look at NewBridge Institutional Research

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