China’s Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd. this morning made a non-binding offer to acquire Spreadtrum Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRD) for $28.50 per ADS in cash in a deal worth about $1.4 billion. Spreadtrum is a China-based fabless semiconductor maker for wireless communications equipment. The offer represents a premium of 20.1% to Spreadtrum’s closing price on June 19.
Tsinghua is the operating subsidiary of a Chinese state-owned enterprise that owns and manages most of the commercial assets of Tsinghua University. The firm’s assets total about $11.5 billion.
The offer is essentially a hostile bid, and Tsinghua says it may finance the purchase through a combination of equity and debt.
Earlier this month Spreadtrum raised its second-quarter revenue outlook on strong sales of low-cost smartphones. Shares are up about 23% for the year and about 25% in the past month, with most of the gain coming since June 12. The shares hit an all-time high just short of $29 in November 2011.
Spreadtrum’s ADS are up about 18.1% at $26.32 in the first 45 minutes of trading this morning, after posting a new 52-week high of $26.68. The 52-week low is $14.50, and the consensus price target from Thomson Reuters is around $27.80.