Renesas in talks to sell mobile chip operations overseas
TOKYO, March 21 (Kyodo) — The president of struggling Renesas Electronics Corp. said Thursday that the chipmaker is in talks with overseas companies on selling its loss-making mobile device chip operations as part of efforts to streamline its business.
Tetsuya Tsurumaru added, however, that the company has not ruled out the possibility of negotiations with domestic firms over the sale of the operations of wholly owned subsidiary Renesas Mobile Corp., telling an interview with news organizations that selling the operations to overseas companies is "not the only (possibility)."
On reports that Renesas was mulling incorporating the unit into a new company that Fujitsu Ltd. and Panasonic Corp. will set up by integrating their system LSI (large-scale integration) chip operations, he declined to comment on whether such an option remains.
Renesas Mobile was set up in 2010 by integrating Renesas Electronics' mobile multimedia business and the wireless business of Finland's Nokia Corp., and has been in the red ever since. Of its 1,900 employees, 1,500 are located overseas.
Renesas, the world's top maker of microcontrollers for automobiles, will receive 150 billion yen in investment from a Japanese government-backed fund and eight private companies, including Toyota Motor Corp., to accelerate its restructuring efforts.
Tsurumaru was promoted to president in late February as the company implemented management restructuring to enhance its competitiveness and improve its financial standing.
But Tsurumaru's stint as president could be provisional, as the state-backed Innovation Network Corp. of Japan is expected to revamp the company's management when it becomes the top shareholder by the end of September.