Buyout chatter sends AMD shares shooting up

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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