Fairchild Semi Said Working With Goldman Sachs to Find Buyer

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  • Company said to be in talks with ON Semiconductor, Infineon
  • No certainty of a deal and a transaction isn't imminent

Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc. hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to help it find a buyer and is in discussions with potential suitors including ON Semiconductor Corp. and Infineon Technologies AG, people familiar with the matter said.

No deal is assured and a transaction isn’t imminent, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. Fairchild surged almost 16 percent to $16.35 at the close in New York, giving the company a market capitalization of $1.89 billion.

While Fairchild is one of the oldest suppliers in the industry, it’s been surpassed. The San Jose, California-based company, which makes semiconductors that regulate power in electronics, chips for cars and electronic signal converters, has annual revenue that’s about a tenth of Texas Instruments Inc., the biggest maker of such products. 

The semiconductor industry has seen $110 billion in deals this year, the biggest so far as companies combine in the face of rising costs of production and a shrinking customer list.

Infineon has been building out its business focused on what’s known as power-management chips, which are used to handle the flow of power in electronics, from mobile phones to automobiles. Betting that demand for these chips will keep rising, Infineon bought International Rectifier Corp. for about $3 billion in cash in a deal completed in January. Infineon had cash and equivalents of 1.842 billion euros ($2.1 billion) at the end of June, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Representatives from ON Semiconductor and Infineon declined to comment. Spokesmen for Fairchild and Goldman Sachs didn’t respond to requests for comment.