Electronics component distributor WPG Holdings Co. purchased a 16.98 percent stake in rival WT Microelectronics Co. Ltd. for about $153.26 million, falling short of the 30 percent stake it aimed for last year.
WPG’s board of directors last year approved the proposed acquisition of 177.11 million WT shares by a Jan. 30 deadline for NT$45.8 per share, but the company ultimately stopped short with an acquisition of 100.24 million shares, according to the Taipei Times. Its stake in WT would have risen to 30 percent if the tender offer was fully executed, WPG said in a Taiwan Stock Exchange filing.
WPG intends to remain a passive investor, it said in a statement, adding that it would not seek to take control of WT’s board of directors.
WPG has avoided Fair Trade Commission (FTC) scrutiny, because it does not own a controlling stake in WT, or a one-third share of the company, the Times reported.
“As WPG had planned to purchase a maximum of 177,111,000 shares, or less than 30 percent of WT’s outstanding shares, the deal does not constitute a merger,” the FTC said. “Therefore, WPG is not required to apply with the FTC for combination.”
More than a month ago WT Micro urged its shareholders to reject the NT$8.11 billion hostile takeover bid, according to the Times, saying that the offer of NT$45.8 per share was below the reasonable price range of between NT$50.48 and NT$53.68.
WT also accused WPG of seeking to monopolize the local chip distribution market, in which WPG holds a 70 percent share, along with a 50 percent share in the Asian market, excluding Japan’s 10 top chip distributors.
Data from market researcher Gartner Inc., the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics and the Industrial Technology Research Institute showed that WPG and WT hold a combined market share of less than 1 percent in the global and Asia-Pacific semiconductor markets, the FTC said. The companies hold a maximum of less than 40 percent in the global chip distribution market, the commission added.