UPDATE 3-Microchip ends bid to buy Atmel

miércoles 11 de febrero de 2009 00:34 CET

(Adds analyst's comments, background)

By Purwa Naveen Raman

BANGALORE Feb 10 (Reuters) - Chipmaker Microchip Technology Inc (MCHP.O: Cotización) terminated its bid to buy Atmel Corp ATML.O, citing a deepening downturn in the semiconductor industry.

Microchip said it was also withdrawing the slate of directors it had nominated previously for election at Atmel's annual meeting of shareholders.

"I don't find the move surprising. As the market conditions worsen, there is little need for Microchip to spend money on a hostile merger," Broadpoint AmTech analyst Doug Freedman said in an e-mail.

Atmel's microcontroller business had attracted interest from rival Microchip, which teamed up with ON Semiconductor Inc ONNN.O in October last year to make a $2.3 billion hostile bid to buy Atmel.

However, On Semiconductor withdrew from the partnership, and Atmel rebuffed the offer. The $5-a-share offer was 52.4 percent more than Atmel's closing price on Oct. 1, 2008.

"The global economy and the semiconductor business environment have deteriorated significantly since Microchip first made an offer," Microchip Chief Executive Steve Sanghi said on Tuesday.

Semiconductor makers around the world are grappling with a near two-year sector downturn, caused by chronic oversupply and weak demand exacerbated by the financial turmoil.   Continuación...