Renesas Electronics Corp. said Monday it is considering acquiring U.S. chipmaker Intersil Corp., but revealed few details of the prospective deal.
The acquisition could be worth hundreds of billions of yen and an agreement may be reached as early as this month, sources with knowledge of the matter said.
Renesas Electronics, which has undergone restructuring of its unprofitable operations, is now aiming to bolster its automotive chip business amid expected growth in demand for automotive devices worldwide. Automakers are scrambling to develop more advanced fuel-efficient cars and automated driving technology.
Intersil, which sells power-saving semiconductors, has strength in automotive as well as industrial chips. In the business year through December 2015, the U.S. chipmaker had $521.60 million in sales.
Renesas Electronics said in a statement that it is looking at various options including an Intersil purchase but said no final decision has been made.
The Japanese chipmaker was created in 2010 when NEC Electronics Corp. merged with Renesas Technology Corp.
Hitachi Ltd. and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. integrated their semiconductor businesses to create Renesas Technology in 2003.
Hurt by the earthquakes in Kyushu in April and the recent rise in the strength of the yen, the semiconductor firm reported ¥9.98 billion in net profit, down 66.6 percent from a year earlier, as sales dropped 15.2 percent to ¥151.98 billion in the April to June quarter.
Since becoming president in June, Bunsei Kure, who once headed major auto parts maker Calsonic Kansei Corp., has expressed hope he can strengthen its overseas business.
The Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, a turnaround fund backed by the government, is considering selling its stake in Renesas Electronics, sources close to the matter said earlier.
The fund has been a major shareholder since its investment in 2013 in Renesas Electronics, which suffered serious factory damage in the aftermath of the 2011 quake.
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