Texas Instruments in $6.5bn deal for Nat Semi

Texas Instruments announced its biggest deal in more than a decade with the $6.5bn all-cash acquisition of Silicon Valley’s National Semiconductor.

Dallas-based TI said on Monday that the move would strengthen its market leadership in analogue chips, which carry out functions such as power management, amplification and convert audio and video to digital signals in phones and media players.

The deal is topped by the $7.4bn that TI paid for another analogue chipmaker, Burr-Brown, in June 2000 – its biggest ever buy.

TI said it would pay $25 a share for National Semi, representing a 78 per cent premium to its closing price on Monday.

TI shares fell 2 per cent to $33.42 in after-hours trading on the news, while Nat Semi’s were up 74 per cent at $24.47.

“This acquisition is about strength and growth,” said Rich Templeton, TI chairman, president and chief executive, in a statement. “National has an excellent development team and its products combined with our own can offer customers an analogue portfolio of unmatched depth and breadth.”

Mr Templeton predicted strong returns on the investment, with a combined sales team, 10 times larger than National’s, able to accelerate growth.

Both boards of directors unanimously approved the transaction, which is expected to close in six to nine months. TI plans to fund it with a combination of existing cash balances and debt.

Mr Templeton told an analyst conference call that both parties were confident the deal would gain regulatory approval because of the depth of competition in a still-fragmented analogue market.

Kevin March, TI chief financial officer, said it had existing cash balances of $3.1bn and with National Semi’s $900m, he expected to borrow $3bn-$4bn to complete the transaction. About $100m a year in cost savings have been identified.

The Texas chipmaker has lost its position as the world’s leading wireless chipmaker to Qualcomm in recent years, but has been focusing more on analogue, offering 30,000 analogue products and operating the world’s first analogue factory based on the latest 300mm-diameter silicon wafers.

National has manufacturing operations in Maine, Scotland and Malaysia.

The addition of National’s portfolio will give TI 12,000 more analogue products and a strong position in the industrial power market.

TI said the market for analogue semiconductors was worth $42bn last year, with TI being the market leader with revenues of $6bn or 14 per cent of the market. Adding National’s $1.6bn in revenues last year gives it a 17 per cent market share and sales of analogue chips will become almost 50 per cent of TI’s revenues.

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