Fujitsu Said to Hire UBS to Seek Semiconductor Unit Buyers

Fujitsu Said to Hire UBS to Seek Buyers for Semiconductor Unit
Fujitsu, which lost 24 percent of its value since the beginning of the year, in July reported a first-quarter loss that was bigger than analysts predicted as a worsening economy in Europe and a slowdown in the U.S. hurt sales in its solutions business. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Fujitsu Ltd., Japan’s biggest provider of computer services, is seeking buyers for its semiconductor business as part of a restructuring effort, people familiar with the matter said.

The maker of the K supercomputer hired UBS AG as financial adviser on the sale process, said the people, who declined to be identified because the decision isn’t public. The business may be worth as much as 200 billion yen ($2.6 billion), according to Yoshihisa Toyosaki, a Tokyo-based analyst with Architect Grand Design, a Japanese electronics research and consulting company.

Fujitsu has been hurt by slumping demand for semiconductors used in flat-panel TVs and is restructuring businesses after competition with Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. pushed Japanese consumer electronics makers Sony Corp., Sharp Corp. and Panasonic Corp., into losses.

“Fujitsu is trying to find buyers or partners for its semiconductor division to focus on its core business of system solutions,” said Yuichi Ishida, a Tokyo-based analyst at Mizuho Investors Securities Co. “However, as the semiconductor business has turned into a mature industry, it may be a bit difficult to find buyers.”

‘World-Class Technology’

Masahiro Yamane, a spokesman for Tokyo-based Fujitsu, said no decision has been made and declined to elaborate further. UBS representatives didn’t return calls and e-mails seeking comment.

Fujitsu fell 0.3 percent to 303 yen in Tokyo trading, extending its decline this year to 24 percent. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average dropped 0.5 percent.

As many as 2,492 acquisitions of semiconductor assets, with a combined value of $203 billion, have been announced since 2000, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The average deal size was $114 million with an average premium of 28 percent offered by buyers, the data show.

“Fujitsu semiconductor has world-class technology and assets for consumer electronics,” Toyosaki said. “Taking everything, including patents, into consideration, the division is worth 200 billion yen at least.”

Fujitsu reported a first-quarter loss in July that was bigger than analysts predicted as a worsening economy in Europe and a slowdown in the U.S. eroded sales in its solutions business.

The net loss of 23.8 billion yen for the three months ended June 30 exceeded the average 12.4 billion-yen loss projected by five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The company’s operating loss, or revenue minus the cost of goods sold and administrative expenses, totaled 25 billion yen, and sales fell 2.9 percent to 957.4 billion yen.

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