Analog Devices is reportedly in talks to acquire its West Coast semiconductor rival, Maxim Integrated Products.
According to Bloomberg, Maxim was working with a bank on a strategic review when it was approached by Analog Devices, according to unnamed sources. Maxim has been looking to reduce costs, transform its manufacturing footprint, and optimize R&D and sales to identify growth opportunities. It has a market value of about $9.8 billion.
Analog Devices meanwhile supplies the supplies the touchscreen controller that powers Apple's Force Touch in the Apple Watch, and is rumored to supply iPhones and iPads as well. Analog Devices has 2,500 employees in New England and 9,000 worldwide. Maxim has 8,800 employees in San Jose, Calif. Neither company has commented on the merger talks.
Analysts were mixed on the news.
"This would be a combination of two franchises with almost completely complementary product portfolios, and could be a company with scale to compete more effectively with the other big boy in our space, Texas Instruments, among others," said analysts Ambrish Srivastava and Gabriel Ho of BMO Capital Markets, in a research note.
The Motley Fool had a different take: “While I'm sure together Analog Devices and Maxim could identify compelling synergies and offer customers more comprehensive product solutions, there's no guarantee a merger of this size will come to fruition. Combining that with the uncertainty that Analog Devices' chips are in a certain new iDevice, as well as the fact Maxim has found top-line growth elusive of late, I think investors in both companies would be wise to consider taking at least some of today's quick gains off the table.”
If it happens, this will be the latest in a string of acquisitions in the component space. Intel Corp agreed in June to buy Altera Corp for $16.7 billion, and Avago Technologies said in May that it would buy Broadcom for $37 billion.
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