Buyout chatter sends AMD shares shooting up


— 9:44 AM on August 9, 2012

Could AMD be on the verge of getting bought out? There's no evidence to suggest that just yet, but according to MarketWatch, that didn't stop rumors about a possible acquisition from boosting AMD's share price yesterday. The chipmaker's shares reportedly rose in value by 8%, landing at $4.34.

MarketWatch doesn't get into much detail about the rumors. It only quotes Evercore Partners analyst Patrick Wang, who says Qualcomm and Samsung were both cited as candidates for a potential bid on AMD. However, Wang doesn't believe the speculation holds much water. "I think it's unlikely they get a take-out offer," he says.

Speculation is in the air, nonetheless. Last week, Sylvie Barak over at EE Times wrote a story that listed potential candidates for an AMD takeover. She named Qualcomm as the most likely one, noting that the firm already acquired assets from AMD's now-defunct handheld business a few years ago. Acquiring AMD, she added, would give Qualcomm "increased leverage with manufacturing partners like TSMC and Globalfoundries."

As for Samsung, Barak commented that the Korean mega-conglomerate could use AMD's patents in its war with Apple. Samsung already designs its own ARM-based SoCs, has already hired some former AMD talent, and could likely afford the purchase price without much trouble.

It's too early to know for sure, but I don't think it would come as a huge surprise if a takeover was indeed in the cards. The chipmaker has had trouble turning a profit in recent years, posting sizeable losses as late as the first quarter of this year. Earlier this week, AMD announced that it was borrowing $300 million for "general corporate purposes and working capital." Some of the money, AMD said, would be used to repay existing debt and to make payments to GlobalFoundries.

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