UPDATE 1-Micron sees Elpida deal closing despite challenge


(Rewrites, adds detail on plans, background)

By Noel Randewich

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Micron Technology's chiefexecutive said he expects to complete an acquisition of failedJapanese memory chipmaker Elpida Memory Inc. in the first halfof next year, despite opposition from a group of bondholders.

Micron agreed in early July to buy Elpida for about $750million in cash and pay creditors a total of $1.75 billion inannual installments through 2019.

However, a group of Elpida bondholders say Micron isoffering too little for the chipmaker.

A committee set up by a Japanese court to examine Elpida'sproposal, along with a proposal by the bondholders, is expectedto make a recommendation by Oct. 29, later than earlierestimated.

"We Still expect to close this in the first half of 2013.Exactly when that is, I can't say with a lot of precisionbecause I think really the key domino is -- when we getregulatory approval from all the concerned countries," MicronChief Executive Mark Durcan said at an analysts event in Boise,Idaho, where Micron is based.

The bondholder group, which says it holds about $1.2 billionin Elpida bonds, has submitted a plan to the Tokyo court thatvalues the chipmaker at more than 300 billion yen, well aboveMicron's offer.

The bondholders did not put forward an equity investor,although they offered to lend Elpida 30 billion yen to help thechipmaker restructure.

"When you think about who has the wherewithal to provide ameaningful return to the secured creditors on a go-forward basisit's the Micron offer," Durcan said. "The other offers out there... really don't give much assurance that there will be anythingfor anybody."($1 = 78.0400 Japanese yen)

(Reporting By Noel Randewich; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)

((noel.randewich@thomsonreuters.com)(Twitter handle:@randewich)(415)(677 2542)(Reuters Messaging:noel.randewich.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))