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Shares in Hitachi Kokusai Electric hit their highest level since 1991 following reports its parent company, Hitachi, was planning to sell the chipmaking equipment unit to private equity firms KKR and Japan Industrial Partners for $1.8bn.

Hitachi, responding to media reports, said in a statement no formal decision had been made with regard to Hitachi Kokusai, but confirmed it “is considering the growth strategy” of the subsidiary, which may include a transfer of shares in the business.

KKR and Japan Industrial Partners will acquire Hitachi Kokusai for more than ¥‎200bn ($1.8bn), Nikkei reported. Hitachi said of those reports that the articles were not based on the company’s disclosed information.

Hitachi said it would inform the market in a “timely manner” once any formal decision has been taken.

Shares in Hitachi Kokusai jumped 9.1 per cent to their highest level since August 1991. They had gained by as much as 9.9 per cent today. Shares in the parent, Hitachi, were up 3.1 per cent at a one-month high.

Chart courtesy of Bloomberg

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