OmniVision Said to Near $1.7 Billion Sale to Hua Capital

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OmniVision Technologies Inc., whose camera sensors have been used in Apple Inc.’s iPhone, is near an agreement to be acquired by a group of Chinese investors, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Hua Capital Management, the Beijing-based private equity firm, will pay about $29 a share for the chip designer, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the transaction hasn’t yet been made public. A purchase at that price would value the company at $1.68 billion.

A deal could be announced as soon as Thursday, the people said. Santa Clara, California-based OmniVision rose about 5.9 percent in late trading Wednesday, after ending regular trading at $26.55 a share.

Chinese buyers are using takeovers to acquire chip capabilities. Last year, a Beijing-based university led the acquisition of Spreadtrum Communications Inc., a designer of chips used to connect smartphones to cellular networks.

Bloomberg reported in September that Hua Capital had hired Bank of America Corp. to provide funding for its bid. In August, OmniVision announced it had received an unsolicited offer from the investor group led by Hua Capital.

OmniVision spokeswoman Mary McGowan declined to comment, citing company policy. A representative for Hua couldn’t be reached.

OmniVision, which was co-founded by Chinese immigrant and current Chief Executive Officer Hong Xiaoying, has a number of Chinese- and Taiwan-educated managers among its senior ranks.

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