Infineon Will Buy Cypress Semi In Latest Chip Mega-Deal


Infineon Technologies AG agreed to buy Cypress Semiconductor (CY). in a deal that values the U.S. target at about $10 billion including debt, the latest mega-deal for an industry grappling with slowing growth.


The deal confers an enterprise value of 9 billion euros ($10 billion) on Cypress, a memory chip maker re-positioning itself as a provider to automobiles and other connected devices. Infineon's cash offer of $23.85 a share marks a 46% premium to Cypress's average price over the past 30 days, the companies said in a statement confirming an earlier Bloomberg report.

Shares of Infineon fell as much as 6.5% during early trading Monday in Frankfurt.

The semiconductor industry has been reshaped over the past five years as companies combine to gain scale while fighting rising costs and shrinking customer bases. NXP Semiconductors NV (NXPI) recently announced a $1.76 billion deal for Marvell Technology Group (MRVL)Wi-Fi connectivity business, while Nvidia (NVDA). agreed to buy chipmaker Mellanox Technologies (MLNX). for $6.9 billion in March.

But Infineon until now has mostly sat on the sidelines. It's lost almost a third of its value over the past year, as the European chipmaker twice revised its forecasts to account for global economic uncertainty and a slowdown in Chinese car sales. Infineon's offer values Cypress at roughly $8.7 billion based on its outstanding shares alone, excluding debt.

What Bloomberg Intelligence Says

Infineon's reported plans to acquire Cypress may result in some arduous integration work, with the buyer focused on power chips and the target on Internet of Things and specialty memory. Infineon makes about a quarter of its sales in China, which has turned into a headwind as the economy slows. It will need stronger 2H sales to meet its 8 billion-euro sales guidance.

Infineon's target designs and manufactures flash memory chips and microcontrollers, or chips used for powering small electronic devices.

Cypress has been trying to recast itself as a provider of chips for use in vehicles and the growing market for so-called internet of things, the push by the electronics industry to connect devices. It's told investors it expects its automotive business to grow 8% to 12% over the next five years and its IoT unit to expand at as much as 14% in that period.

Annual revenue, helped by an acquisition, has more than doubled in five years to $2.5 billion in 2018. Analysts are predicting that sales growth will disappear this year, forecasting a contraction of about 11%, according to the average of analysts' estimates from data compiled by Bloomberg.

"This will accelerate the company's path of profitable growth of recent years," Infineon said in its statement.

It remains to be seen whether Infineon can win the necessary regulatory approvals in the midst of escalating trade battles. China effectively killed Qualcomm (QCOM)planned $44 billion takeover of NXP Semiconductors NV last year by withholding its blessing for more than 20 months. China later said it was not to blame for the deal falling apart.

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