Chartered seeking Taiwan rescue?

Nov. 13, 2008 – Rumors are swirling that Singapore foundry Chartered Semiconductor is actively seeking M&A help, with Taiwan’s chip foundry heavyweights at the top of its list of suitors.

A few weeks ago, Reuters reported that Chartered majority shareholder Temasek Holdings is shopping its stake in the chipmaker, specifically to Taiwan’s TSMC, which declined to comment “on market rumors,” according to a local newspaper.

Now, Digitimes is following up by reporting that Chartered’s CEO Song-Hwee Chia is en route to Taiwan for “a low-profile visit,” speculating that the journey will take him to local foundries for talks on a possible merger. UMC, whose own CEO recently noted that industry consolidation is likely and would be welcomed in the current climate, is now said to be atop the list of possible suitors. Taiwan’s No. 2 foundry also is seen as a prime consolidator for local 150mm foundry Advanced Microelectronics, which reportedly is on the ropes, according to the Taiwan Economic News.


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