Verigy Rises as Advantest Raises Offer to $15 a Share

Verigy Ltd. surged as much as 8.9 percent after the maker of testing equipment for semiconductor manufacturers said it received a sweetened takeover offer from Advantest Corp. for $15 a share, valued at about $900 million.

Advantest’s cash bid is 23 percent more than a Dec. 6 offer of $12.15, Singapore-based Verigy said today in a statement. Verigy climbed 90 cents, or 7.1 percent, to $13.53 at 1:13 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading, after rising as high as $13.75. The shares had dropped 1.8 percent this year before today.

The new proposal raises the stakes in a bidding war between Advantest and LTX-Credence Corp. for Verigy, a maker of testing gear for chips including those that handle so-called flash memory, which store songs and photos in products such as Apple Inc.’s iPhone. The acquisition would help Tokyo-based Advantest, which has lost money in each of the past two fiscal years, reduce its reliance on the computer memory equipment, where manufacturers have cut back on investment in machinery.

Verigy announced in November it would merge with LTX- Credence, based in Milpitas, California. Verigy said today that its board continues to recommend the LTX-Credence transaction to shareholders. The board isn’t making any recommendation about the revised proposal by Advantest and anticipates more discussions with that company, Verigy said.

Verigy had 60.5 million outstanding shares as of Dec. 8, according to Bloomberg data. On that basis, Advantest’s new bid would value the company at $907.8 million.

LTX-Credence shares fell 17 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $7.60 on the Nasdaq. Advantest dropped 0.2 percent to 1,886 yen in Tokyo trading.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Elstrom in New York at pelstrom@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom in New York at pelstrom@bloomberg.net.

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