Report: Infineon Talks with NXP

FRANKFURT, May 23 (Reuters) – Loss-making German chipmaker Infineon Technologies AG (IFXGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) is in talks with Dutch peer NXP [NXP.UL] to forge “closer cooperation”, German newspaper Handelsblatt said on Friday, citing unnamed sources.

The talks, which are in a “sensitive” phase, were not about a takeover but focused on how the companies could work more closely together, the paper said.

“The subject is a combination of the operative businesses of both companies,” the paper quoted a source as saying. Infineon's Qimonda (QI.N: Quote, Profile, Research) unit would not be affected, the paper said.

An Infineon spokesman declined comment.

The Financial Times Deutschland reported last week Infineon Chairman Max Dietrich Kley had talked to private equity group and NXP owner KKR [KKR.UL] about a merger between Infineon and NXP.

This was part of a power struggle between Kley and Infineon Chief Executive Wolfgang Ziebart, who opposed a merger with NXP, the FTD said.

Ziebart will step down, probably at the end of June, a source close to the company's supervisory board told Reuters last week. (Reporting by Sylvia Westall; Editing by David Holmes)