HONG KONG (Reuters) - China’s state-backed Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd is prepared to buy U.S. memory chipmaker Micron Technology Inc (MU.O) for $23 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported.
* Founded in 1993 by Beijing’s elite Tsinghua University, the company has positioned itself as a champion for China’s technological development and has set a target to become the world’s third-biggest chipmaker.
* Controlled by Tsinghua Holdings Company Ltd, a conglomerate invested and run by a school committee of Tsinghua University, an institution that counts China’s President Xi Jinping as one of its alumni.
* Tsinghua Holdings has a wide range of subsidiaries in the technology industry, including IT services provider Unisplendour Corp Ltd 000938.SZ, Tsinghua Tongfang Company Ltd (600100.SS) and biological technology firm Chengzhi Shareholding Company Ltd 000990.SZ.
* To become a “world-class chip giant” - as described on its website - Tsinghua Unigroup has been active in acquiring and forging partnerships with both domestic and foreign companies since 2013 to get a greater foothold in the chip market, an area deemed of vital strategic importance by the Chinese government.
* Acquired Chinese cellphone chip designer Spreadtrum Communications for $1.38 billion in June 2013, while later that year it purchased then U.S.-listed chipmaker RDA Microelectronics Inc for about $910 million.
* In September 2014, Intel Corp (INTC.O) paid up to $1.5 billion for a 20 percent stake in two mobile chipmakers under Tsinghua Unigroup, in a landmark deal that provided the Chinese firm with support from a U.S. semiconductor giant on chip design and development.
* Earlier this year, Tsinghua Unigroup subsidiary Unisplendour Corp Ltd 000938.SZ bought 51 percent of Hewlett-Packard’s (HPQ.N) H3C Technologies for at least $2.3 billion to create a Chinese technology hub that houses H3C’s networking operation alongside its China-based server, data-storage and technology-services businesses.
* Tsinghua Unigroup signed an agreement with China Development Bank for financing projects and investments worth 30 billion yuan to build a “flagship business” for China’s integrated circuit industry.
Reporting by Yimou Lee; Editing by Stephen Coates