Will Intel Purchase IQE?
Well above average turnover of late in the AIM stock exchange, compound manufacturer IQE is on the up; in the last week alone, the share price rose 23% to £0.53 at the time of publication.
More than 10 million shares changed hands on 12th January and the close was 4p better at a high of 52.25p amid whispers that a bullish trading update from the company is just around the corner.
Furthermore, according to the Daily Mail, Intel, the world’s largest semiconductor chip maker, is looking to buy the company with loose change.
The driver for IQE’s shares in recent weeks has been the explosive growth worldwide in the sale of mobile handsets. Much of IQE’s growth is related to smartphone sales. On average smartphones require more semiconductor materials than traditional mobile phones, to power the faster processors, color LCD screens, WiFi chips and 3G circuitry.
Intel is claimed to be just biding its time ahead of an imminent trading statement which should confirm that IQE’s full-year profits should exceed market expectations before launching a knock-out £487m or 95p a share cash offer for the company.
Last month broker Execution Noble placed 65m, or 14% of IQE’s equity at 32p a share. The £20.8m raised helped pay down debt and fund the acquisition of Galaxy Compound Semiconductors, a US specialist in components for infra-red detectors used in military applications.
Analysts were bullish about the deal saying the purchase of Galaxy provides IQE with complementary technology and strategic access to the US defense market.
CompoundSemicondcutor.net contacted IQE to ask about the possibly buyout of the company by Intel. IQE spokesman Chris Meadows declined to comment.