VIA Rises by Limit on Report Intel May Buy Phone Chip Unit

VIA Technologies Inc. climbed its daily limit in Taipei after a report Intel Corp. is in talks to buy the Taiwanese company’s phone chip unit.

Shares rose 6.9 percent to NT$9.09 at the close of trade, the most since September. The benchmark Taiex fell 1.1 percent.

Intel and VIA Technologies are in the final stages of negotiations to buy VIA Telecom for $500 million, Taipei-based Next Magazine reported Wednesday, without saying where it got the information. VIA Technologies owns half of the chip business and would get 50 percent of any sale proceeds in cash, the magazine reported.

John Mandeville, a Hong Kong-based spokesman for Intel, declined to comment. Three calls to VIA Technologies’ investor relations and public relations representatives weren’t answered. VIA Telecom Chief Executive Officer Ker Zhang declined to comment in an e-mailed response to Bloomberg News.

A purchase of the San Diego-based designer of chips used in smartphones would add to Intel’s 20 percent stake in Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd., the holding company which owns Chinese chipmakers Spreadtrum Communications and RDA Microelectronics. That deal, and a May agreement to develop products with Fuzhou Rockchip Electronics Co., are part of Intel’s strategy to branch out beyond PCs and get more of its semiconductors into smartphones and tablets.

There is an 80 percent chance a deal for VIA Telecom proceeds, Next reported.

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