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Samsung buys Israeli chip group

01 ноября 2007

Samsung Electronics, the world’s biggest memory chipmaker, on Wednesday said it had bought an Israeli non-memory chip developer in its first cross-border acquisition for a decade.

Samsung buys Israeli chip groupThe move could herald a change in Samsung’s growth strategy, as the South Korean company faces increasing calls that it should find new growth engines through mergers and acquisitions amid stalled growth at its core businesses.

Samsung said it took over TransChip, a fabless chip designer in Israel with about 60 researchers, to strengthen its development capability in the image sensor business. It declined to give the value of the deal but local business newspaper Korea Economic Daily estimated the deal at $70m.

The deal is Samsung’s first acquisition of a foreign company since it took over the hardware-systems business of 3DO, a US software company, for $20m in 1997. Samsung has refrained from cross-border M&As since its 1994 acquisition of AST Research, a US computer maker, ended up in a failure. Samsung had to close AST after suffering continued losses due to the massive defections of local researchers.

The acquisition of the Israeli company is part of Samsung’s efforts to develop the non-memory business to cushion the negative impact of falling memory chip prices. Samsung is the global leader in the memory chip market but has a weak presence in the non-memory business.

Samsung suffered a drop in its semiconductor profit margins in the third quarter as D-ram prices fell to record lows. The company said yesterday it would develop the printer and System-LSI businesses as new growth drivers in addition to its mainstay businesses of memory chips, mobile phones, liquid crystal display and digital TVs.

Yun Jong-yong, vice-chairman, yesterday said Samsung’s sales would reach $100bn this year and said the company would enter new growth areas such as bio, health, energy and environment.

This week, Chu Woo-sik, the company’s vice-president, said Samsung aimed to double its sales and pre-tax profit to $165bn and $22bn respectively over the next five years.

Источник: Financial Times

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