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Advanced Micro Devices Inc. is in advanced talks to buy rival chip maker Xilinx Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, in a deal that could be valued at more than $30 billion and mark the latest big tie-up in the rapidly consolidating semiconductor industry.
The companies are discussing a deal that could come together as soon as next week, the people said. There is no guarantee they will get there, especially given that the talks had stalled before recently restarting, according to some of the people.
AMD’s market value now tops $100 billion after its shares soared 89% this year as the coronavirus pandemic stokes demands for PCs, gaming consoles and other devices that use the company’s chips. Second-quarter revenue rose 26% to $1.93 billion, while net income jumped more than fourfold to $157 million on the back of record notebook and server-processor sales, AMD said.
The surge in AMD shares could embolden the company to make an acquisition using its stock as currency. Xilinx has a market value of about $26 billion, with its shares up about 9% so far this year, just ahead of the S&P 500’s 7% rise.
With a typical takeover premium, a deal would value the company at more than $30 billion.
AMD, based in Santa Clara, Calif., is led by Chief Executive Lisa Su. In addition to desktop and notebook computers, it makes components used in gaming systems such as Xbox and PlayStation that have been in high demand as the pandemic forces people to stay at home. It also has a growing data-center-processor business that increasingly rivals that of Intel Corp., long the dominant player in that segment.
The addition of Xilinx, led by CEO Victor Peng, would put AMD on a more even competitive footing with Intel and give it a bigger position in fast-growing telecommunications and defense markets.
San Jose, Calif.-based Xilinx’s chips are used in wireless communications, data centers and industries such as automotive and aerospace. Its shares have been hurt by trade tensions between the U.S. and China, and namely the Trump administration’s limitations on shipments to China’s Huawei Technologies Co. because of security concerns. Analysts estimated Huawei accounted for roughly 6% to 8% of Xilinx’s revenue.
Xilinx makes microchips called field-programmable gate arrays, or FPGAs. Unlike standard chips, they can be reprogrammed after they are produced. That makes them valuable in rapid prototyping and in fast-emerging technologies where there isn’t enough time to go through a yearslong development process necessary for other chips.
FPGAs are commonly used in new superfast 5G telecommunications infrastructure, although they may be replaced later by standard chips once the technology is more mature. They are also often used in military communications and radar systems.