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Lattice reportedly mulling sale to Chinese buyer

Posted: 02 Mar 2016 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Lattice Semiconductor? semiconductor? programmable logic? CFIUS?

Lattice Semiconductor Corp. is working with an investment banker to consider the potential sale of its business and may have attracted the interest of a potential buyer based in China.

A Reuters report, which cites unnamed sources, indicates that the programmable logic maker is working with Morgan Stanley to review potential buyers, including an unnamed Chinese concern. The report notes that the unnamed sources said there is no certainty that Lattice will agree to any deal.

Chinese firms and venture capital funds have increasingly been bidding for U.S. tech companies, particularly chip firms. China's central government last year announced plans to invest $161 billion over the next 10 years to develop a domestic semiconductor industry.

In recent weeks, two major deals involving U.S. tech firms and Chinese concerns have fallen through over concerns that they would not withstand the scrutiny of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Last week, China-based conglomerate Unisplendour shelved plans to spend $3.8 billion to acquire a 15 per cent stake in Western Digial Corp. after CFIUS announced plans to investigate the deal. In mid-February, Fairchild rejected a buyout offer from China Resources Microelectronics Ltd and Hua Capital Management Co. Ltd, saying it determined that the deal would likely be blocked by CFIUS.

CFIUS is an inter-agency federal government committee authorised to review transactions that could result in control of a U.S. business by a foreign entity.

The semiconductor industry has been in the midst of an unprecedented ongoing wave of consolidation. In 2015 alone, the value of semiconductor industry acquisitions announced exceeded $105 billion, more than eight times the average annual value of acquisitions by semiconductor companies over the previous five years, according to market research firm IC Insights Inc.

Lattice did not immediately respond to request for comment on the Reuters report.

Lattice is the second largest standalone vendor of programmable logic devices following Intel's acquisition of Altera Corp. last year.

- Dylan McGrath
??EE Times

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