Micron front runner to buy Elpida shares -

Micron is tipped to be the front runner to aquire bankrupt memory manufacturer Elpida, according to industry sources.

The company is said to be prepared to splash around up to $1.5 billion for the rival, pushing it ahead of the likes of Toshiba and Globalfoundries.

Elpida is facing bids from chip companies after racking up $5.5 billion in debts and being unable to pay them. It announced its bankruptcy late last month and was quickly dumped by old friend Hitachi, which sold off all its shares in the company.

Hynix also proved that it was out for what it could get and showed no remorse for the company when it proudly announced that it had seen a "marked growth" in the number of clients asking to secure big DRAM orders.

Some industry watchers originally thought that Samsung would be a main contender in the bidding war, however, it distanced itself from the company - telling TechEye that it had no plans to jump in Elpida's grave.

This left Micron, Toshiba and Globalfoundries as potential candidates to get a piece of the chip company.  

According to Tom's Hardware, Elpida's value lies mainly its Hiroshima manufacturing facility, which is estimated to be worth about $1 billion. It is believed that this is the main attraction for bidders who would pay more if they had to build a plant from scratch.

Micron does have some cash to splash with its balance sheet listing around $2.1 billion in available cash and short term investments.

It's also been buying more into the market recently acquiring Intel's shares in the flash memory joint-venture IM Flash.