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Japanese largest memory maker Elpida, which was established as a joint-venture between NEC and Hitachi announced that its major shareholders had sold a portion of their Elpida shares. The result is unlikely to affect business between the three companies, but will formally allow Elpida to make decisions about its future.

NEC has reduced its stake in Elpida to 13.89% from the previous 23.84% by selling 9.6 million Elpida shares to Daiwa Securities SMBC, which then sold them to Daiwa Securities SMBC Europe Limited as well as institutional investors. Hitachi has cut its stake from 23.84% to 19.7%, Elpida said.

With the sale of a portion of their Elpida shares, Elpida will no longer be considered an equity-method holding of NEC and Hitachi. However, the business relationships with the two companies will remain the same, and Elpida does not expect a change in their Elpida share ownership to affect its business performance.

In 2004 Elpida was the No. 5 maker of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) on the planet that controlled about 6% of shipments according to IC Insights research agency.

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