Hynix lenders rule out write-off in Micron talks

Jan. 16, 2002 – Seoul, Korea – Creditors of Korea’s Hynix Semiconductor Inc. said they were ruling out a major debt write-off in merger talks with Micron Technology Inc.

Hynix is considering selling the entire memory business to Micron, although pricing differences are delaying a deal, which could be worth between $2 and $6.5 billion.

“The talks are focused on a merger with Hynix via purchase acquisition method, not debt write-off,” Shin Kook-whan, head of Hynix’s reform committee, told Reuters.

“Given the circumstances, it is likely that Micron had asked for a debt write-off, which Hynix’s creditors are definitely resisting,” said Jon Woo-jong, a semiconductor analyst at SK Securities. “That is now one of the main hurdles for a deal.”

The Asian Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources close to the talks, reported that Micron had asked creditors to write off some five trillion won ($3.83 billion) in Hynix loans.

Creditors denied the report.

“We have not received any such request (from Micron),” a spokesman for Korea Exchange Bank, the main Hynix creditor, told Reuters. “We had already written off about half of Hynix’s debt and have no plan to forgive its debt any more.”

Hynix aimed to sign a preliminary agreement with Micron in January but its CEO hinted that it might take longer than expected, depending on how fast it narrows differences with creditors over Micron’s proposals.

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