August 20, 2014 / 11:25 AM / 3 years ago

Infineon nears $2 billion U.S. semiconductor deal : Bloomberg

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany’s Infineon (IFXGn.DE) is nearing a deal to buy a U.S.-based semiconductor company for about $2 billion, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

A deal could be announced later on Wednesday, Bloomberg said, without saying which company Infineon was targeting.

The report pushed down shares in Infineon by as much as 3.2 percent in early afternoon trade. They had regained some ground by 1154 GMT (0754 EDT), trading 1.4 percent lower at 8.596 euros.

“We do not comment on market rumours,” a spokesman for Infineon said, but reiterated that the company had been on the lookout for takeover opportunities for some time.

Shareholders have been calling on Chief Executive Reinhard Ploss, who has been at the helm for almost two years, to use Infineon’s cash pile of more than 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) to make acquisitions or return the money to investors.

On July 30, Infineon board member Arunjai Mittal told analysts that the group would pick any target according to its strategic fit, how difficult post-merger integration would be and how much it would add to Infineon’s sales and profits.

    Among U.S. chipmakers of roughly the size that Bloomberg cited are Fairchild Semiconductor International FCS.O, Diodes (DIOD.O) and International Rectifier IRF.N.

    Bloomberg has also named Power Integrations (POWI.O) and Semtech (SMTC.O) as possible takeover targets in the chip sector.

    (1 US dollar = 0.7528 euro)

    Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Additional reporting by Joern Poltz in Munich, Victoria Bryan in Berlin and Supantha Mukherjee in Bangalore; Editing by Victoria Bryan and Pravin Char

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