TSMC Selling ASML Stake for $1.5 Billion as Lockup Period Ends

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. is selling its stake in Dutch chip-equipment maker ASML Holding NV for 1.3 billion euros ($1.5 billion) as a 2 1/2-year lockup period expires in April.

TSMC, a supplier of chips to Apple Inc. and Qualcomm Inc., is selling 21 million ASML shares at 62.59 euros apiece, Chief Financial Officer Lora Ho told reporters in Taipei. The Hsinchu, Taiwan-based company will book a profit of 21 billion Taiwanese dollars ($660 million) from the sale.

ASML shares rose 0.6 percent to 87.90 euros at 10:26 a.m. in Amsterdam, leaving them 40 percent higher than the price at which TSMC is selling. Ho said TSMC has signed contracts with buyers over the past two years, when ASML shares were trading at a lower price than currently.

TSMC’s stake was part of a co-investment program ASML started in 2012. The objective of the program was to accelerate the development of ASML’s extreme ultraviolet lithography technology, which enables customers to produce smaller chips while increasing capacity and speed. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Intel Corp. are the two other companies participating in the co-investment program.

“It is not up to us to comment on TSMC’s transaction, but our relationship with TSMC remains very strong,” Lucas van Grinsven, an ASML spokesman spokesman, said by phone.

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