Nihon Aim Co., which provides production-line work to semiconductor firms, and Apex Inc., which sells used semiconductor-making equipment, announced Tuesday they will set up a firm to offer machine maintenance work for chip-making factories.

Nexus Technology Inc. will be established Oct. 3 as part of an alliance aimed at getting the firms involved in the turnaround business in the domestic chip-making industry, they said.

Nexus Technology will be set up with 30 million yen in capital, and owned 51 percent by Nihon Aim and the rest by Apex, they said.

The two companies said domestic makers of computer chips and liquid-crystal products are under pressure to cut costs as they have been facing more competition from Asian rivals, especially those in China.

A Nihon Aim spokesman said the two companies believed their client chip makers will have to move some production lines overseas in the future to survive.

Apex could buy the machines and Nihon Aim could hire the workers from those abandoned production lines, they said.

The new company is expected to post 150 million yen in sales in the current fiscal year and and 1 billion yen in fiscal 2007, the two firms said.

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