March 2, 2009

Spansion files for bankruptcy

Spansion Inc. has filed for bankruptcy, the flash memory chip maker based in Sunnyvale, Calif., announced Monday.

The petition for Chapter 11 reorganization under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code was filed Sunday in Delaware as part of Spansion's strategy to strengthen its financial position and focus its business for long-term success, the company said in a news release.

The company's strategic plan is designed to restructure its burdensome debt obligations and intensify its focus on market segments with greater profit potential, Spansion said. Each of Spansion's domestic subsidiaries also simultaneously filed chapter 11 petitions.

Spansion provoked outrage among many of its employees last week when it laid off 3,000 workers even as it restored a 6-month, 10 percent reduction in compensation for some of its executives, the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News reported Monday.

In its bankruptcy petition, the company listed about $3.8 billion in assets and almost $2.4 billion in debts, the newspaper said.

Chief Executive John Kispert, who replaced retiring Chief Executive Bertrand Cambou Feb. 4, said the decision was difficult.

It really provides this company the most effective means to preserve our market position and to maintain customer confidence, he said.

The company said it has been in talks with its major creditors about the bankruptcy filing, including discussions aimed at arranging financing to allow it to continue operating while the bankruptcy petition is being heard.