No sale, no merger
MUNICH, July 2 (Reuters) – German chipmaker Infineon is not for sale and will not take part in a merger, the company’s new chief executive said on Wednesday, quashing speculation of a tie-up with rivals.
Peter Bauer, who took over the helm of Infineon a month ago, said while the company would not avoid talks on sales or a merger in the future, there was no decision pending now.
“We will not dive into some adventure just for the sake of size, that is just not up to date anymore,” he said, adding a sale of the company or an integration of Infineon into another company “did not even enter the equation”.
Bauer also said Infineon could afford smaller acquisitions but again ruled out any major buys until it had found a solution for memory chipmaker Qimonda. Infineon wants to divest a majority of the subsidiary, which it listed independently in New York in 2006.
Shares in the loss-making company have been buoyed in recent weeks on hopes that the company would link up with peers such as Dutch chipmaker NXP or privately held U.S. company Freescale but hopes of a tie-up diminished this week sending Infineon stock down.
After Bauer’s comments shares extended their losses and were down 1.55 percent at 4.77 euros. Infineon shares have lost almost 40 percent in value year-to-date. Stock peaked in July 2000 at 93.60 euros.
Bauer, who has been with Infineon for over 20 years, said it was his goal to turn Infineon into a leaner, more efficient and a profitable company by cutting costs and reorganising the chipmaker.
“For me this is not just a job…this is my baby,” Bauer said.
Infineon, Europe’s biggest automotive chip supplier, aims to save a triple digit million euro sum by next year and also cut jobs, Bauer said.
The Munich-based company has almost 30,000 employees worldwide.
“We cannot quantify how many (jobs) but we want to keep the figure as low as possible,” Bauer said, adding he also planned to regroup Infineon’s two divisions into five.
By October the company will have five chip divisions: automotive, industrial electronics, security, as well as fixed and wireless, Bauer said.
Bauer reiterated the company aimed to reach its target to make an operating profit of 10 percent of sales by next year.