Renesas Electronics Corporation and Sony Corporation today announced that they have signed a definitive agreement to transfer a semiconductor manufacturing facility and related equipment (the "Asset Transfer") at the Tsuruoka Factory (12-inch front-end wafer fabrication line of the semiconductor production facility) of Renesas Yamagata Semiconductor Co., Ltd. ("Renesas Yamagata Semiconductor"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Renesas Electronics, to Sony Semiconductor Corporation ("SCK"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony.
1. Background of the Asset Transfer
As announced on August 2, 2013, in the news release "Renesas Electronics Shows Direction of Renesas Group," Renesas Electronics has been promoting the realignment of Renesas Group's manufacturing sites in Japan in an effort to strengthen its financial base. As part of this process, Renesas Electronics is working to maintain and strengthen its high-quality technology in the areas where its strengths lie, such as flash MCUs (microcontrollers) and low-power operation technologies, while concentrating and consolidating its front-end facilities based on production efficiency and cost-to-performance ratio.
As announced on April 12, 2012, in the news release "Sony Transformation to Revitalize Electronics Business, Generate Growth and Drive New Value Creation," Sony is positioning the imaging business as one of its core electronics businesses. As part of this strategy, Sony has been exploring opportunities to increase its production capacity for image sensors, a key component used in mobile products such as smartphones and tablets, for which increasing demand is anticipated.
Based on the background above, Renesas Electronics and Sony signed the Asset Transfer Agreement today, under which a semiconductor manufacturing facility and related equipment are expected to be transferred to SCK on March 31, 2014. This Asset Transfer is subject to the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals.
After the Asset Transfer, the system LSIs and others produced at the Tsuruoka Factory will be produced there for Renesas Electronics by SCK on a contract basis for a certain period of time as agreed by Renesas Electronics and Sony. After expiration of that period, Renesas Electronics will shift the production of the system LSIs to its Naka Factory or discontinue production, as Renesas Electronics previously announced to its customers.