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SunEdison to spin off semiconductor business

ST. PETERS, Mo. (AP) -- SunEdison Inc. said Thursday that it is spinning off its semiconductor business into a separate publicly traded company and will focus on its solar business.

The new company will be called SunEdison Semiconductor Inc. SunEdison said the money it makes from the initial public offering will be used to boost its solar business and pay debt.

The news sent shares of SunEdison up 19 percent, or $1.29, to $8.10 in morning trading.

SunEdison, based in St. Peters, Mo., makes products for the semiconductor and solar industries. In May, the company changed its name from MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. to SunEdison.

The semiconductor business, which makes chips used in computers, phones, TVs and other electronic devices, made up more than half of SunEdison's second-quarter revenue.

The new semiconductor company will operate independently and have its own board of directors, SunEdison said. "This new structure will allow each independent company to pursue its shareholder value generating strategies," said Ahmad Chatila, SunEdison's CEO, in a statement.

SunEdison expects the initial public offering to happen by early 2014. It is subject to regulatory approval. It will sell a minority stake of the semiconductor business to the public through the IPO, the company said.