NEC Approached by US Fund as Chip Unit Faces Delisting

A U.S. private investment company appears to be trying to grab a larger stake of Japan's NEC Electronics Corp.

Perry Capital LLC has offered to increase its stake in the company, which is the chip-making subsidiary of NEC Corp., from its current stake of around 4.5 percent to 25 percent, according to a report in Wednesday morning's Nihon Keizai Shimbun business daily.

NEC confirmed that it was approached by Perry Capital but would not disclose details.

"NEC received a letter from an American private investment firm, Perry Capital LLC, on July 11, 2007; however, NEC cannot comment on the contents of individual communications with investors," it said.

The news comes a day after NEC said its semiconductor subsidiary is a candidate for delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange because too many of its shares are held by a small number of shareholders. The exchange regulations say a company cannot remain listed if more than 75 percent of its shares are held by its 10 largest shareholders.

NEC Electronics has until March 2008 to adjust the shareholding, although new rules slated for later this year would change the criteria for delisting. If they come into force as expected, NEC Electronics could continue to trade with no change in its shareholder status.

NEC Electronics stock ended the day up 16 percent, at a year-high of %3,670.