A 200 billion yen ($2.55 billion) deal is being cooked up to buy Renesas Electronics Corp., the world's fifth-largest chipmaker, according to a report from the Nikkei business daily. It said that a Japan government fund is likely to team up with around 10 companies. The report revealed further that Innovation Network Corp., which is funded by taxpayers, intends to invest 150 billion yen to buy two-thirds of Renesas' shares on a voting rights basis. The report also stated that a consortium of Japanese firms, which include Canon Inc., Denso Corp., Honda Motor Co., Nikon Corp., Nissan Motor Co., Panasonic Corp., Toyota Motor Corp. and Yaskawa Electric Corp., is believed to make an investment of a total of almost 50 billion yen.
The Nikkei added that German industrial group Robert Bosch GmbH may also invest in Renesas. None of these companies have released official statements about this matter. According to a Renesas spokesman, no decision has been made yet.
Renesas, the world’s leading manufacturer of microcontroller chips used in cars, had experienced years of losses due to the strengthening yen and the rising competition from Samsung Electronics Co. and other rivals. This is why Renesas has been asking for support. The Nikkei said that the U.S. private equity firm KKR & Co. has joined discussions to acquire control of Renesas but it’s likely to withdraw that proposal with the creation of the government fund-lead acquisition plan.