China's state-backed Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd is preparing a $23 billion bid for U.S. memory chip maker Micron Technology Inc. If the deal goes through, it would be the biggest Chinese takeover of a U.S. company.
A person close to Tsinghua said the Chinese technology conglomerate is preparing to bid $21 per share for Micron, a 19.3% premium over its Monday closing price. The source added that the offer could come as early as Wednesday.
Beijing-based Tsinghua, the country's largest state-owned chip design company, has been on the hunt for opportunities in the U.S. technology sector. The company’s potential purchase of Micron is regarded as a strategic move to help the advancement of China's own chip sector, according to CNBC.
If the deal does go ahead, it’s likely to come under scrutiny from U.S officials, who have blocked Chinese takeover attempts in the past on national security grounds. According to the Wall Street Journal, the most likely review body would be the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States, which brings together officials from more than a dozen government departments and agencies.
Vincent Gu, a Shanghai-based analyst at iSupply, said the chances of the U.S. government approving the deal would be "next to zero" given the political hurdles. "It's difficult to purchase the critical technology. China should stay firmly grounded and persevere with researching the technology itself," Gu said.
Idaho-based Micron is so far staying tight-lipped over the deal; spokesman Daniel Francisco said: “While Micron does not comment on rumors or speculation, we can confirm we have not received an offer.”
Micron shares have been down this year on weakening demand for its DRAM chips amid a decline in global PC shipments. The company also produces NAND flash memory and solid-state drives.