Shares in TSMC, UMC unaffected by buyout deal


Wed, Jul 26, 2006 - Page 12

Both Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) and United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) yesterday saw their share prices rise on the local bourse, despite Advanced Micro Devices Inc's announcement on Monday that it would acquire ATI Technologies Inc for US$5.4 billion.

Shares in TSMC, the world's largest made-to-order chipmaker, climbed 1.7 percent to NT$53.8 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, while UMC's rose 0.3 percent to NT$18.

While ATI, the largest maker of computer graphics chips for laptops, outsources the manufacturing of its chips to Taiwanese makers, the merger news had a limited impact on TSMC and UMC shares, analysts said.

"ATI will keep its foundry partnership with TSMC, and AMD isn't likely to change its manufacturing strategy. Anyway, it is too costly to switch to another foundry," KGI Securities (中信證券) analyst Tiffany Chen said.

TSMC yesterday assured its investors that its partnership with ATI remains unchanged.

"Based on our discussions with ATI, our business with them will continue as usual after its merger with AMD. This merger will not affect ATI's relationship with TSMC," the company said in a statement yesterday.

"As part of AMD, ATI's business will continue to operate a fabless business model and maintain its strong foundry partnership with TSMC," it said.

At a briefing in Taipei yesterday, Henry Richard, executive vice pres-ident of AMD, and Rick Hegberg, senior vice president of ATI's global sales, also said there would be no changes in their relationships with local partners in the short term.

But Richard said AMD may produce its own processors in the future, if the new firm were able to develop special silicon components that could successfully integrate both the central processing unit and the graphic processing unit.