CEO

NXP not for sale, would consider a rich offer: CEO

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 08, 2011 2:37 PM
NXP not for sale, would consider a rich offer: CEO

By Roberta B. Cowan

EINDHOVEN, The Netherlands (Reuters) - Dutch chip maker NXP BV is not in takeover talks, its chief executive said on Friday, although he would consider an offer like the one Texas Instruments Inc made for National Semiconductor Corp.

Dutch media said earlier on Friday NXP had been holding talks with Intel Corp, Qualcomm Inc and Broadcom Corp about a possible tie up.

"NXP isn't for sale," NXP Chief Executive Richard Clemmer told Reuters in an interview at the company's headquarters in Eindhoven. "And I haven't held talks with the CEOs of Intel, Qualcomm or Broadcom for five or six weeks."

He said that when he had talked to Qualcomm and Broadcom previously it was about routine customer issues.

However, after Texas Instruments offered a near-80 percent premium for National Semiconductor earlier this week, Clemmer said he would have to consider selling NXP if offered similar terms, which would equate to about $60 a share.

"National Semiconductor got a good deal and I would consider talks at an 80 percent premium or between $55 to $60 per share," he added.

NXP makes chips and chip sets which are used in a wide range of applications including security identification and authentication cards and passports.

Clemmer said that while NXP is not considering any divestments, it is looking a smaller M&A deals in the range of $100-$150 million.

NXP is the co-inventor, along with Sony, of near-field communication technology, or NFC, which is an emerging technology for contactless transactions or payments, or short-distance data transfer.

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It has become the industry standard to enable mobile phones to make electronic payments in shops, online and also from phone to phone.

The demand for near-field communications chips from the likes of Google Inc and Nokia Oyj, both partners of NXP, means investors have seen the upside in NFC technology, and pushed NXP shares up from about $10 last summer to more than $30.

Google is integrating mobile payment in its Android mobile operating system, the world's most popular smartphone software, while Nokia has said every Nokia phone will be NFC-enabled by the end of 2011.

Clemmer declined to say whether Apple Inc's next iPhone will have NXP's NFC chip set but he added that every smartphone manufacturer is working on adding NFC technology.

Dutch electronics group Philips sold a majority stake in NXP to private equity firms in 2006. NXP had previously made parts for Philips radios, televisions and other electrical equipment for more than 50 years.

NXP was partly listed by its private equity owners last August.

Texas-born Clemmer was appointed chief executive in 2009 as the company struggled under the weight of debt taken on before and after its leveraged buyout.

NXP has a market capitalization of $8.3 billion and counts Apple, Huawei, Samsung, Philips and Nokia among others as customers.

Clemmer said on Friday he sees the overall semiconductor market growing by between 6 and 8 percent in 2011 and that its high performance mixed-signal chips unit -- used in mobile phones, base stations or auto electronics -- would grow by 2.5 to 3 percentage points faster than the market.

He also said he reckons the chip sector will start consolidating over the coming three to five years.

(Editing by Sara Webb and David Holmes)