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Thursday, December 23, 2010
Sony to Buy Back Toshiba Chip Line, Nikkei Reports

Sony is reportedly in talks to buy a Japanese microchip production line from Toshiba for an estimated 50 billion yen ($598 million) to boost its output of chips for cameras and mobile phones, the Nikkei newspaper said on Thursday.

Sony sold the facility to Toshiba in 2008 for 90 billion yen in 2008 as part of its "asset light" strategy.

Through the planned buy back of the production lines in southern Japan's Nagasaki prefecture, the company aims to boost its output capacity of image sensors used in digital cameras and cellphones, Nikkei reported.

The Nikkei business daily said on Thursday the acquisition would double Sony's image sensor output capacity to the equivalent of 40,000 silicon wafers a month. Sony still owns the factory the chip line is housed in.

Sony released the following statement regarding the report:

"Certain media reports were published on December 23, 2010 about a possible transaction between Sony Corporation and Toshiba Corporation regarding semiconductors fabrication facilities. Sony has made no announcement in this regard and has no comment."

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