Arik Hesseldahl

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AMD Completes Sale, Leaseback of Texas Campus

AMD CEO Rory Read

AMD CEO Rory Read

Shares of the troubled chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices inched upward today on word that the company has executed a deal to sell its Austin, Texas, campus and lease it back from the new owner, in a deal expected to generate $164 million in cash.

Rumors of the move have been in the air for some time, as part of an ongoing reorganization of the company under CEO Rory Read. It’s also fairly common. AMD has been leasing its own headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif., since 1998, the company said.

AMD sold the buildings to a unit of Spear Street Capital. The fresh injection of cash will be reflected in its balance sheet when AMD reports quarterly results in April. And it should ease — if only just a bit — concerns raised earlier this year by the debt-rating agency Fitch. In January, that firm downgraded AMD’s long-term debt to CCC from a B, two notches below investment grade. Specifically, Fitch said it expected AMD’s free cash flow to turn negative, and worried that it might even go so low as to “potentially approach the company’s minimum operating level.”

AMD’s last big shakeup involved the slashing of 15 percent of its workforce.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald