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Four Private Equity Firms Eye ASE Buyout

Four private equity firms have approached ASE about buying the chip packager, a local newspaper reported on Thursday, after the Taiwan company called off its plan to be bought by Carlyle.

New potential buyers are Kolhberg Kravis Roberts, Blackstone, Texas Pacific Group and Goldman Sachs, the Commercial Times said, citing unnamed sources.

ASE, the world's biggest chip packaging and testing firm, said Carlyle's bid did not reflect its value. A company spokesman said it was not now in talks with other private equity firms.

The Chinese-language paper did not provide the likely bidding prices by the private equity firms, while analysts say ASE might be offered a higher price if there were any future deals included.

ASE shares had fallen 1.42% to T$41.70 in the early morning session after surging to a seven-year closing high on Wednesday. The shares were underperforming a 0.88% drop on the main TAIEX share index.

Shares in smaller rival Siliconware tumbled nearly 6%. The stock had outpaced ASE since the Carlyle bid in late November, in Asia's biggest private equity deal excluding Japan and Australia, according to Thomson Financial.

Before the withdrawn Carlyle-ASE deal, many believed Siliconware would attract new investors if ASE shares were delisted after the buyout.