NXP Semiconductors to outpace chip market in 2013-CEO

MUNICH Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:29am EST

MUNICH Nov 13 (Reuters) - NXP Semiconductors expects its sales to outpace the market next year as demand rises for its chips that turn phones into "mobile wallets," the Dutch company's chief executive said.

Rick Clemmer told Reuters he expects the chip market to grow by up to 5 percent in 2013. "We think we will grow faster than that," he said in an interview on Tuesday.

NXP is one of the world's biggest makers of near-field communications (NFC) chips. NFC technology passes encrypted information between devices at close range without contact.

This enables shoppers instead of swiping a credit card to wave their smartphone near a terminal, effectively turning an NFC-enabled phone into a "mobile wallet."

"(Being active in the mobile wallet market) will allow us to at least grow 50 percent faster than the market," Clemmer said, adding that by the end of this year the chips will be available in more than 100 million phones.

A consortium of private equity firms, including Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Bain Capital and Apax Partners bought NXP in 2006 from Dutch conglomerate Philips Electronics.

KKR still owns a 15.8 percent stake, while Bain has 12.8 percent and Apax holds 7.2 percent, Reuters data show, after they floated part of the company's shares in 2010.

Clemmer said he expected that the shareholders would be looking for a good moment to further reduce their holdings.

"They are not here forever," he said. "My guess is they first sold at $30 and when we are back at $30 I would expect they would sell some more (of their stake)."

NXP shares currently trade at around $25.