UPDATE 1-Investor Starboard asks chipmaker TriQuint to consider unit sale

Tuesday, 29 Oct 2013 | 11:04 AM ET

Oct 29 (Reuters) - Activist investor Starboard Value LP asked TriQuint Semiconductor Inc to consider selling or restructuring its mobile power amplifier business, which it says is dragging down the radio frequency chipmaker's share price.

TriQuint shares rose 7 percent on the Nasdaq on Tuesday morning.

Starboard said the company should focus on its networks and defense businesses and become a fabless chipmaker like rival Skyworks Solutions Inc.

The mobile power amplifier business is part of TriQuint's mobile devices unit, which accounts for about 65 percent of the company's revenue.

"We have communicated our desire to immediately begin conversations with TriQuint's board regarding both strategy and board composition," Starboard's managing member Jeffrey Smith wrote in a letter to TriQuint Chief Executive Ralph Quinsey. ()

TriQuint forecast current-quarter results well below Wall Street expectations last week, partly due to lower revenue from embattled smartphone company BlackBerry Ltd .

Starboard said TriQuint should exit its Oregon wafer fabrication facility, moving part of its power amplifier production to its other plant in Texas and outsourcing the rest to a foundry.

TriQuint was not immediately available for comment.

Starboard said it owned about 8 percent of the company's shares, making it one of TriQuint's largest shareholders.

Starboard took a 7.8 percent stake in the company in April. ()

TriQuint's stock rose to $7.86. It has risen 39 percent since Starboard announced its stake in the company.

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