Renesas to close two factories

JIJI

Renesas Electronics Corp. plans to cease all final-stage chip processing operations at its plant in Ube, Yamaguchi Prefecture, in the second half of fiscal 2013 and shutter its Yanai facility in the prefecture within three years.

The struggling chipmaker said Thursday it is aiming to sell its front-end manufacturing operations at the Ube factory within a year. It is also considering selling its Hakodate factory in Nanae, Hokkaido, a plant in Tsuruta, Aomori Prefecture, and its Fukui facility in Sakai, Fukui Prefecture — all within a year.

In addition, the company will either shut down or sell a plant in the town of Nishiki in Kumamoto Prefecture, and a factory in Tsuruoka, Yamagata Prefecture, within three years.

Renesas President Yasushi Akao told reporters that the company could be forced to lay off workers if it fails to cut between 5,000 and 6,000 jobs through a voluntary retirement program slated to start in September.

The manufacturer expects its operating balance to swing back to the black in fiscal 2012 after racking up massive losses last year, as it believes cost-cutting efforts such as pay cuts and voluntary retirements are already starting to pay off.