Sat, Feb 03, 2018 - Page 11 News List

If the offer was high enough, TSMC founder would sell

Staff writer, with CNA

Morris Chang (張忠謀), founder and chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), said that if a good price was offered for control of the world’s largest contract chipmaker, he would consider selling.

Chang, who is set to retire in June, made the comment in an interview with Chinese-language CommonWealth Magazine when asked how he would respond if a private equity firm or other company wanted to buy TSMC.

Foreign institutional investors hold roughly 80 percent of TSMC shares, the most heavily weighted stock on the local market.

Chang said that if a buyer offered to buy TSMC stocks for NT$300 per share, the company’s market capitalization would soar to a new all-time high of NT$8 trillion (US$273.64 billion).

However, Chang said such an idea was fanciful given that TSMC’s market cap has already risen so much.

TSMC’s share price closed unchanged at NT$259.5, after hitting a low of NT$255, on the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday, bringing its market capitalization to NT$6.728 trillion.

If a foreign business operations team wants to get a seat on the company’s board of directors, it would have to spend an estimated US$22 billion to take a 10 percent stake in the company, Chang said, adding that it is very unlikely that would happen.

He said that TSMC’s management team has the power to influence about 70 percent of the company’s shares.

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