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Tsinghua Holdings to buy chipmaker Spreadtrum

Friday, 12 Jul 2013 | 8:58 AM ET
An engineer at Spreadtrum Communications Inc., tests a mobile phone in an Antenna Mesurement System (anechoic chamber) at the company's facility in Shanghai, China.
Kevin Lee | Bloomberg | Getty Images
An engineer at Spreadtrum Communications Inc., tests a mobile phone in an Antenna Mesurement System (anechoic chamber) at the company's facility in Shanghai, China.

Chinese cellphone chip designer Spreadtrum Communications will be acquired by a unit of government-owned Tsinghua Holdings for a raised offer price of about $1.78 billion.

Tsinghua Unigroup will pay $31 for each Spreadtrum American Depositary Share, up from its previous offer of $28.50 per ADS, the companies said Friday.

The offer represents a premium of 17 percent to Spreadtrum's Thursday closing price on the Nasdaq. Click here for Spreadtrum's latest price.

Spreadtrum develops chips for smartphones, feature phones and other consumer electronics products. Its chips support 2G, 3G and 4G wireless communications standards.


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The company, which gets most of its sales from China and Korea, counts HTC and Samsung Electronics among its customers and had $720 million in revenue last year.

Tsinghua Unigroup will offer Spreadtrum expertise in consumer products, protection and support of a vast IP portfolio, and access to important capital markets in China, Tsinghua Unigroup's Chief Executive Zhao Weiguo said.

Tsinghua Holdings is a Chinese government-owned corporation funded by Tsinghua University and controls companies such as Chengzhi Shareholding and technology firm Unisplendour.

Spreadtrum said it expects to hold a special meeting of its shareholders to consider the proposed deal.

Spreadtrum, which has a market cap of $1.28 billion, said in June it had received a $1.38 billion buyout proposal from Tsinghua, and was evaluating it.

Morgan Stanley Asia gave fairness opinion to Spreadtrum and Fenwick & West LLP provided legal advice. Morrison and Foerster LLP gave legal advice to Tsinghua.

—By Reuters.

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