STMicroelectronics, Intel delay launch of joint venture

Citing turmoil in debt capital markets, the two companies are delaying the launch of Numonyx, their Flash memory project, until March 28

Hit by turmoil in the debt capital markets, STMicroelectronics, Intel, and Francisco Partners agreed on Wednesday to extend the deadline to launch Numonyx, a flash-memory joint venture between the three companies, to March 28.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Intel said the parties have re-negotiated the commitment letter which originally called for certain lenders to provide up to U1.55 billion to finance Numonyx.

Under the revised financing terms, Geneva-based chip maker STMicroelectronics will provide $364 million to the joint venture with a 48.6 percent stake of Numonyx. Francisco Partners will invest $150 million in exchange for a 6.3 percent equity stake, according to STMicroelectronics.

Intel will retain a 45.1 percent ownership in the joint venture but hadn't calculated its financial commitment, according to an Intel spokesman.

Numonyx will also receive a $650 million loan and a $100 million revolving credit facility, according to Intel's filing with the SEC.

The updated agreement provides Numonyx a similar level of net cash with lower indebtedness than originally anticipated, ST Microelectronics said in a release.

The three companies originally announced the joint venture on May 22 and said the deal would close in the second half of 2007. Numonyx is aimed at supplying NOR and NAND memory for consumer and industrial products including cell phones, digital cameras, PCs and other equipment.

After the deal closes, Numonyx will be the largest supplier of NOR flash memory, STMicroelectronics said in the release.