Intel Corp. sells to South Korean the SK Hynix Inc. unit in the field of manufacture NAND memory chips and the storage devices for $ 9 billion.
The agreement includes manufacturing operations for NAND chips SSD-drives, NAND components and semiconductor wafers, said in the press release from Intel. SK Hynix will also receive the plant for the production of NAND chips in Dalian, China. Intel will retain operations in the field of the Optane memory systems, mainly used in the data centers.
The operations acquired by SK Hynix brought Intel revenue of $ 2.8 billion in the first half of 2020, which is the main part of the company’s revenue in the field of memory devices (about $ 3 billion).
Intel, better known as a manufacturer of CPUs for personal computers, began its business in the late 60’s with the release of the memory devices. In the 80’s, faced with strong competition from Japanese memory chip manufacturers, Intel has changed the course.
The company has been considering selling NAND memory chip operations for some time due to a sharp downturn in this market in 2018 due to excess supply. In the last year, however, the market has begun to recover, and experts expect it to grow in the coming years due to the increasing demand for the memory devices.
SK Hynix will become one of the world’s largest manufacturers of NAND memory chips after the purchase of Intel’s assets. According to the analytical company TrendForce, SK Hynix and Intel’s combined market share was more than 20% in the second quarter of this year. The market leader is South Korean Samsung Electronics with a share of over 30%.
Intel announced that invests funds from the sale of assets in business development in the field of artificial intelligence-5G networks.
The companies expect that regulators will approve the deal closer to the end of 2021, after which SK Hynix will pay Intel $ 7 billion. The South Korean company will pay the remaining $ 2 billion after the closing of the deal, which is expected to take place in March 2025.
Shares of SK Hynix fell to 2% following trading in Seoul on Tuesday. Their value has fallen by almost 10% this year, while Intel shares have fallen by 9%.
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