* Offer of $28.50 represents premium of 28 pct over Thursday
* Shares up 21 pct premarket
June 21 Chinese cellphone chip designer
Spreadtrum Communications Inc said it received a $1.38
billion buyout proposal from a unit of government-owned Tsinghua
Holdings Co Ltd.
The offer of $28.50 per American depository share represents
a premium of 28 percent to Spreadtrum's Thursday closing price
on the Nasdaq.
Spreadtrum said its board is evaluating the proposal.
The company develops chips for smartphones, feature phones
and other consumer electronics products, supporting 2G, 3G and
4G wireless communications standards.
Spreadtrum, which gets most of its sales from China and
Korea, counts HTC Corp and Samsung Electronics
among its customers.
Lower-priced smartphones are popular in Asia and are
expected to drive growth in the mobile handsets market as the
United States reaches saturation.
China has more than 1 billion mobile phone subscribers, with
many switching from low-end feature phones to smartphones in the
past few years as prices become more affordable with some
smartphones selling for less than 1,000 yuan ($160) apiece.
Research firm IDC had forecast that China's smartphone
shipments are expected to rise sharply to 460 million by 2017
and will make up nearly all mobile phone sales.
Spreadtrum and other Asian rivals such as Mediatek
are improving their technology and are happy to sacrifice
profits in exchange for market share in Asia.
Last week, Spreadtrum raised its revenue estimates for the
second quarter by $50 million to $270-$278 million citing higher
demand from low-cost smartphone makers.
Spreadtrum shares rose 21 percent to $27 in premarket