February 9, 2007 – Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. has appointed financial advisors and legal counsel to help evaluate the buyout offer proposed late last year by a consortium of investors, suggesting negotiations have taken a significant step forward, according to media reports.
The ASE evaluation committee, led by director TC Cheng, has retained Morgan Stanley Services Ltd as financial advisor, Davis Polk & Wardwell as US counsel, and LCS & Partners as Taiwan counsel, according to AFX and the Taiwan Economic News. Goldman Sachs is representing the Carlyle Group, which aims to delist ASE from the Taiwan market and relist it as several spinoffs, the Taiwan paper noted, adding that Carlyle has resisted ASE investors’ requests to up its offer of NT$39/share.
Now that the consulting panel has been formed, ASE is expected to begin formal negotiations with Carlyle over concrete terms of the acquisition, the paper noted.
In November, a consortium led by private equity firm The Carlyle Group proposed a $5.46 billion acquisition of ASE, which was interpreted as a possible move to accelerate the company’s expansion into China by relisting offshore and avoiding Taiwanese trade restrictions with the mainland. The Carlyle Group was also involved in deals earlier in 2006 for Freescale Semiconductor and Jazz Semiconductor.