Isabel's Feed
Mar 25, 2011

Japan quake damage seen hitting silicon wafer supply

TOKYO, March 25 (Reuters) – Supplies of silicon wafers used
to make semiconductor chips could start to run short in May,
following the suspension of operations at two major plants hit
by the March 11 earthquake that devastated large areas of
northern Japan.

But several analysts say tightness in the market will likely
be short-lived, given excess capacity and high inventories
before the disaster.

Mar 24, 2011

Supply chain disruptions force more Japan delays

TOKYO (Reuters) – Supply chain disruptions in Japan have forced at least one global automaker to delay the launch of two new models and are forcing other industries to shutter plants and rethink their logistical infrastructure.

Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Wednesday it would delay the launch in Japan of two new additions to the Prius line-up, a wagon and a minivan, from the originally planned end-April due to production disruptions from this month’s devastating earthquake.

Mar 24, 2011

Corrected: Supply chain disruptions force more delays in Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) – Supply chain disruptions in Japan have forced at least one global automaker to delay the launch of two new models and are forcing other industries to shutter plants and rethink their logistical infrastructure.

Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Wednesday it would delay the launch in Japan of two new additions to the Prius line-up, a wagon and a minivan, from the originally planned end-April due to production disruptions from this month’s devastating earthquake.

Mar 24, 2011

Quick-thinking executive pulled into midst of Japan nuclear

By Isabel Reynolds

(Reuters) – Watching TV images of workers frantically dousing the reactors of Japan’s earthquake-wrecked nuclear plant with water, one man realized he was uniquely placed to help out: he had on hand a truck-mounted pump bigger than any other in the land.

By Wednesday this week a bright red Putzmeister pump normally used to pour concrete was towering 58 meters (190 feet) over the burned-out remains of reactor No. 4 at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, filling its spent-fuel pool with sea water at a rate of 160 cubic meters (5,650 cubic feet) an hour.

Mar 24, 2011

Quick-thinking executive pulled into midst of Japan nuclear crisis

March 24 (Reuters) – Watching TV images of workers
frantically dousing the reactors of Japan’s earthquake-wrecked
nuclear plant with water, one man realised he was uniquely
placed to help out: he had on hand a truck-mounted pump bigger
than any other in the land.

By Wednesday this week a bright red Putzmeister pump
normally used to pour concrete was towering 58 metres (190 feet)
over the burnt-out remains of reactor No. 4 at the Fukushima
Daiichi plant, filling its spent-fuel pool with sea water at a
rate of 160 cubic metres (5,650 cubic feet) an hour.

Mar 23, 2011

Supply chain disruptions force more delays in Japan

TOKYO, March 23 (Reuters) – Supply chain disruptions in
Japan have forced at least one global automaker to delay the
launch of two new models and are forcing other industries to
shutter plants and rethink their logistical infrastructure.

Toyota Motor Corp said on Wednesday it would delay
the launch in Japan of two new additions to the Prius line-up, a
wagon and a minivan, from the originally planned end-April due
to production disruptions from this month’s devastating
earthquake.

Mar 23, 2011

Supply chain disruptions force more delays in Japan

TOKYO, March 23 (Reuters) – Supply chain disruptions in
Japan have forced at least one global automaker to delay the
launch of two new models and are forcing other industries to
shutter plants and rethink their logistical infrastructure.

Toyota Motor Corp said on Wednesday it would delay
the launch in Japan of two new additions to the Prius line-up, a
wagon and a minivan, from the originally planned end-April due
to production disruptions from this month’s devastating
earthquake.

Mar 22, 2011

Japan parts paralysis spreads as firms cut output

TOKYO (Reuters) – Sony Corp cut output at five more plants and Toyota Motor Corp delayed restarting assembly lines, as the global supply of parts and products began to feel the full impact of Japan’s catastrophic earthquake.

Global electronics and autos companies have been hardest hit by the turmoil, but in an illustration of how the ripples are spreading, Rio Tinto, the world’s No. 2 iron ore miner behind Brazil’s Vale, warned the disruptions posed a threat to its expansion plans.

Mar 22, 2011

Japan supply woes hit Toyota and Sony

TOKYO (Reuters) – Sony Corp (6758.T: Quote, Profile, Research) cut output at five more plants and Toyota Motor (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research) further delayed restarting its Japanese assembly lines, as the country’s catastrophic earthquake plays havoc with the global supply of parts and products.

Global electronics and autos companies have been hardest hit by the turmoil, but in an illustration of how the ripples are spreading, global miner Rio Tinto (RIO.L: Quote, Profile, Research) (RIO.AX: Quote, Profile, Research) warned the disruptions posed a threat to its expansion plans.

Mar 22, 2011

Advantest-Verigy deal looks set to go ahead despite quake

TOKYO, March 22 (Reuters) – Japan’s Advantest
appeared on the verge of clinching a $908 million acquisition of
U.S.-listed chip tester Verigy , a sign some Japanese
firms will still be able to push through deals even after the
country’s catastrophic earthquake. Shares of Advantest, the world's No.2 maker of chip-testing equipment, surged as much as 13 percent -- their biggest one-day percentage gain in two years -- after Verigy said it saw the Japanese company's offer of $15 per share better than its own $424 million plan to buy smaller rival LTX Credence . Verigy, which has its headquarters in Singapore, said in a statement on Monday the cash buyout offer from Advantest was a "superior" option to its own plan to buy LTX Credence. Buying Verigy would give Advantest a much-needed boost in the market of testers for chips used in smartphones and other devices. Advantest is strong in memory chip testers, but faces tough competition from global leader Teradyne Inc in testers for the fast-growing smartphone market. "Advantest recognises that to compete with Teradyne in non-memory testers, it needs to bulk up and strengthen its technology base," said Damian Thong, a technology analyst at Macquarie Capital Securities in Tokyo. "Combining with Verigy is one of the best steps they could take in that direction," he said. By acquiring Verigy, Advantest could control as much as 48 percent of the global chip-testing market, more than Teradyne's 40 percent, an analyst at brokerage MKM Partners estimated last year. JAPAN M&A TO SURVIVE Japanese companies are currently involved in mergers and acquisitions deals totalling $25.7 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data. Some of those deals may get stalled by Japan's crisis. Private-equity firm Bain Capital's planned $3.4 billion buyout of Japanese restaurant chain Skylark has been put on hold as banks want to assess the impact of the earthquake, bankers said last week. However, steel firms Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd submitted a proposal for their planned merger to Japan's antimonopoly watchdog on Friday, just a week after the earthquake and tsunami devastated northeastern Japan. While the disaster in Japan could put pressure on deals in the short term, more firms may start to look for overseas opportunities in the long run, said a Tokyo-based banker. "We really have a feeling that cross-border M&A is still very much on the agenda, that people want to push forward deals already in the pipeline," said Jerome Finck, a director at Global Advisory Japan, the local associate of Anglo-French banking group Rothschild. "I'm pretty sure that in the mid term and long term there will be an increase in cross-border activity -- in-out, so basically Japanese buying abroad. Maybe not as a direct result of the earthquake, but a thinking that it is better to diversify your risk and production base and resources outside Japan as well." Advantest originally offered $12.15 per share for Verigy, but lifted that in December to $15, representing a premium of nearly 66 percent on Verigy's stock price before the initial offer. Semiconductor makers such as Intel rely on equipment from Advantest and Verigy to test the efficiency and quality of their chips. Shares of Advantest were up 9.9 percent at 1,451 yen at 0547 GMT, outperforming a 4.3 percent rise in the benchmark Nikkei average . (Reporting by David Dolan, Nathan Layne; Editing by Edmund Klamann and Vinu Pilakkott)