NEC plans to substantially reduce its stake in Elpida Memory by the end of September, NEC said Tuesday.
Elpida was formed in 1999 from the merger of the DRAM (dynamic RAM) businesses of NEC and Hitachi in the face of strong competition from South Korean and Taiwanese memory chip makers. Mitsubishi Electric sold its DRAM business to the company in 2002.
While Elpida remains Japan's only sizable producer of DRAM chips, it accounts for a relatively small portion of global DRAM output.
In the first quarter this year, Elpida had a 6.5 percent share of the market on a revenue base, ranking the company fifth in the global market, according to IDC. Leader Samsung Electronics Co. had 31.5 percent, followed by Micron Technology, Hynix Semiconductor and Infineon Technologies, said IDC.
NEC's planned sale of 9.6 million shares on the stock market will reduce its stake in Elpida to 13.9 percent from 23.8 percent, NEC said. The sale won't change NEC's business relationship with Elpida, including its product procurements, NEC said.