China's Tsinghua Unigroup preparing bid $23-bn bid for US chip maker Micron Technolgy: reports
14 July 2015
China's state-backed Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd is is in the process of launching a $23-billion bid for US memory chip maker Micron Technology Inc, in what will be the biggest Chinese takeover of a US company, Reuters reported citing people familiar with the matter.
The technology conglomerate is preparing to bid $21 per share for Micron, a 19.3 per cent premium to the stock's close yesterday. The offer could come as early as Wednesday, a person close to Tsinghua told Reuters.
With a successful bid, Tsinghua Unigroup will be able to consolidate its position as a champion for China's technology development, after it entered into research partnerships with international firms in the semiconductor industry.
The company is controlled by Tsinghua University in Beijing, which counts president Xi Jinping among its alumni, and has the support of China's central government.
Development of its domestic semiconductor sector had held a strategic importance for China, and allegations of foreign cyberspying had not been able to dent this pursuit.
Commentators point out that a foreign takeover of Idaho-based Micron - the last major US-based manufacturer of DRAM chips used in personal computers - would need to be reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, which looked at the national security aspects of such deals.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that Micron spokesman Dan Francisco said the company had not received a proposal.
If a purchase were to materialise, China, which accounts for over half of the world's demand for semiconductors, would get the technology to build memory chips that go into computers and smartphones.
According to estimates of consulting firm McKinsey & Co, the Chinese government had budgeted to spend as much as 1 trillion yuan ($161 billion) on the chip industry over the next five to 10 years, consulting firm.
''This is the right move for Tsinghua because Micron has memory chip technology, which is very hard to develop,'' said Gu Wenjun, chief analyst at iCwise, a Shanghai-based consulting company, Bloomberg reported. ''But there is only a small possibility US regulators will approve this deal because it has a very strict review over offers from foreign capital, especially China.''
State-controlled Tsinghua Unigroup is the investment arm of Tsinghua University, which, besides, the country's President Xi Jinping counts former president Hu Jintao among its alumni.