The Nikkei reports Apple (AAPL +0.9%) is in talks with Renesas (RNECF) to buy its 55% stake in iPhone LCD driver IC supplier Renesas SP Drivers, and is looking to acquire it for ¥50B ($479M).
Sharp (SHCAY) owns 25% of Renesas SP, and Taiwan's Powerchip 20%. Sharp is expected to sell its stake to Apple if the company asks for a a deal after buying Renesas' interest.
Apple, which already develops its own app processors and fingerprint sensors, reportedly "wants to meld the design of core display components into overall product development."
A deal could be a positive for Himax (HIMX +3.9%) and MagnaChip (MX -0.6%), given Renesas SP's other clients would start looking for alternative LCD driver suppliers. Renesas SP has an estimated ~33% share of the market for small and mid-sized LCD drivers/controllers. It had revenue of ¥60B ($575M) during the fiscal year ending March 31.
Earlier: 4.7" iPhone LCD production reportedly set to start
The Nikkei reports Sony (SNE) is looking to acquire a chip fab from struggling Renesas (RNECY), and plans to use it to expand CMOS image sensor production. The expected sale price is said to be $96M; an MOU could be signed as soon as the beginning of next week.
The paper points out Sony already has a ~30% share of the CMOS image sensor market, thanks in part to growing sales to Apple, Samsung, and other mobile OEMs.
The report comes as image sensor rival OmniVision (OVTI) provides soft guidance to go with an earnings beat, and reports of seeing "intensifying competition."
Broadcom (BRCM) agrees to buy LTE-related assets from affiliates of Renesas Electronics (RNECF.PK, RNECY.PK) for about $164M in cash. The transaction is expected to slice about $0.12 from EPS in the December quarter and $0.10-$0.15 from EPS for FY2014. The purchase is expected to be accretive to earnings in 2015.
Updating its outlook for the September quarter, the company expects revenue of $2.075B-$2.175B (Street consensus is $2.14B), and gross margins to be up about 50-100 basis points. R&A and SG&A expenses are expected to be "somewhat above" the high end of previous guidance.
Japanese stocks trade lower, with exporters weighing on the market as the yen remains near its lows for the week on disappointing trade data. The Nikkei Average is currently down 0.2% at 10,464: Sony ([[SNE -1.6%), Renesas Electronics (RNECY.PK -2.1%), Honda (HMC -1%) and Nissan ([[NSANY.]] -1.4%).
Renesas (RNECY.PK) says it will receive ¥150B ($1.8B) from a government-backed fund and manufacturers to help stay in business, and expects an additional ¥50B from the fund in time. A November Nikkei report indicated Renesas would get $2.2B in exchange for a $2.2B stake and a commitment to restructure. Any downsizing efforts could provide microcontroller rivals such as ATML, FSL, NXPI, and MCHP a chance to gain share.
A fund backed by the Japanese government is set to pay $2.2B to buy 2/3 of chipmaker Renesas (RNECY.PK) from current owners Mitsubishi, NEC, and Hitachi, a source tells the Nikkei. Renesas, which rose 16.6% in Tokyo on the report, would reportedly shutter factories and cut as many as 5K jobs as part of the deal. Renesas is the top player in the microcontroller market, where it competes with Microchip, Freescale, STMicroelectronics, and others.
Japanese stocks move higher out of the gate, as data-inspired gains for the dollar versus the yen gives a boost to exporters. The Nikkei Average added 0.9% to 8,888. Currency-sensitive exporters mostly rallied: Sony (SNE +2%), Panasonic (PC +2.2%), Renesas Electronics (RNECY.PK +3.6%), Toyota (TM +1.3%), Honda (HMC +2.2%) and Canon (CAJ +1.7%).
Renesas (RNECY.PK) secures ¥161B ($2.1B) in syndicated two-and-a-half year loans from four Japanese banks. The cash-strapped company, the worlds largest provider of microcontroller chips used in cars, also obtains another ¥97B in financing from the banks and from its major shareholders. The loans could put paid to KKR's (KKR) hopes of buying Renesas.
Japanese state-backed investment fund Innovation Network is in talks with major manufacturers - reportedly including Toyota (TM) and Panasonic (PC) - about acquiring struggling chipmaker Renesas, which is the subject of a bid of over ¥100B ($1.3B) from KKR. The Japanese government fears that KKR would "cut off the less-profitable operations" that are important for Japanese end users.
KKR (KKR) is reportedly in negotiations to invest about ¥100B ($1.3B) in Renesas (RNECY.PK) in a deal that would give the U.S. P-E firm a controlling stake in the unprofitable Japanese chipmaker, which is owned by NEC, Hitachi and Mitsubishi Electric. The speculation sent Renesas' shares surging 35% in Tokyo.
TSMC (TSM) has no plans to purchase a Renesas (RNECY.PK) chipmaking plant in Tsuruoka, Japan, says chairman Morris Chang, shooting down rumors to the contrary. Reports that Renesas plans to shutter a large number of plants as part of a restructuring plan had heightened speculation TSMC, which has formed an outsourcing partnership with Renesas, would bid for one or more of them.
Renesas (RNECY.PK) will announce a restructuring plan this week that will include laying off 1/3 of its work force and shuttering half of its chipmaking plants, Reuters reports. In exchange, Renesas will receive ¥100B ($1.26B) worth of loans from shareholders Hitachi (HIT), Mitsubishi, and NEC, along with four banks. A Saturday report from The Nikkei claimed Renesas was looking to sell or close 10 plants. TSMC (TSM - previous) could be interested in some of them.
Renesas (RNECY.PK) plunged 10.6% in Tokyo following reports that it intends to slash at least 12,000 jobs, sell loss-making operations, and raise ¥100 B ($1.26B) in fresh capital. Renesas said today that it would outsource the production of its high-end chips to Taiwan's TSMC, which may buy a Renesas fab.
As part of a larger restructuring effort, Japan's Renesas Electronics (RNECY.PK) enters into a chip production tie-up with Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM), the world's largest contract chip maker. TSM will produce chips for use in automobiles and home appliances for Renesas as it looks for alternatives to lower costs.
Japanese stocks are higher in early trading as tech exporters take back some of their losses from the previous session. The Nikkei Average is currently up 0.4% to 9.732: Sony (SNE +0.2%), Sharp NEC (NIPNF.PK+1.9%), Renesas Electronics (RNECY.PK +1.9%) and Kyocera (KYO +1.4%).
Japanese stocks opened lower today, with tech shares weighed by the bankruptcy filing of Japan's lone DRAM-chip maker Elpida Memory (ELPDF.PK). The Nikkei Average is currently down 0.6% to 9,577: Renesas Electronics (RNECY.PK -6.8%), Advantest (ATE -6.5%) and NEC (NIPNF.PK -3.1%).