Chinese group proposes to buy U.S. chipmaker OmniVision

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 14, 2014 10:50 AM

(Reuters) - U.S. digital imaging chipmaker OmniVision Technologies Inc said it received a buyout proposal from a group of investors led by China's Hua Capital Management Ltd.

The proposed offer price of $29 per share in cash values OmniVision at $1.67 billion and represents a premium of 17.9 percent to the stock's Wednesday close.

OmniVision shares touched a high of $28.10 in early trading on the Nasdaq.

The investment group includes state-owned Shanghai Pudong Science and Technology Investment Co Ltd, OmniVision said.

The company's chips are used in smartphone and tablet cameras, including Apple Inc's iPhones.

OmniVision competes with Sony Corp, Samsung Electronics Co and Himax Technologies Inc.

The company, based in Santa Clara, California, is gaining market share against its key competitors in the Chinese smartphone market, helped by strong demand for image sensors and the lower cost of its products, analysts at Baird Equity Research wrote in a note last month.

"We believe OmniVision has the number-one market share position in the tier-one smartphone OEM (original equipment manufacturer) segment in China," the analysts added.

OmniVision said it was evaluating the proposal and that JP Morgan Securities was its financial adviser.

The company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and revenue in May, helped by higher gross margins and lower inventories.

Up to Wednesday's close, the stock had risen more than 40 percent this year.

(Reporting by Abhirup Roy and Soham Chatterjee in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey and Simon Jennings)