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Trident Microsystems Seeks U.S. Bankruptcy Court Protection

Trident Microsystems Inc., a provider of integrated circuit chips and software for computers and television set-top boxes, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware, citing an economic slowdown.

In petitions today, the Sunnyvale, California-based company listed debts and assets of as much as $500 million each. Among the largest unsecured creditors listed in court papers was Cisco Systems Inc., of San Jose, California, owed $4.34 million in trade debt.

“Trident has experienced continuing operating losses which have resulted in declining cash over the past year” in the face of competition from Asia, Stuart M. Brown, a lawyer representing the company, said in court documents.

In a related announcement, Entropic Communications Inc., based in San Diego, said it would bid $55 million to buy some Trident assets at auction.

“Entropic would plan to hire approximately 385 Trident employees located primarily in China, India, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Korea and the United States,” Entropic said in a statement today. It said it would “acquire facilities in Austin, Texas, Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Hyderabad, India, and would use portions of Trident’s facilities in China, Taiwan and Korea.”

The case is In re Trident Microsystems Inc., 12-10069, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

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