NXP Semiconductors NV divests its stake in Chinese chip design firm

The strategic move could help ease antitrust concerns for Chinese regulators.

In a strategic move, NXP Semiconductors NV, a U.S. chipmaker who was the target of a $44 billion takeover bid by Qualcomm Inc, sold its stake in a Chinese chip design joint venture firm.

As per a stock exchange filing, NXP sold its 40% stake in Suzhou ASEN Semiconductors Co Ltd to Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc, its Taiwanese joint venture partner for $127 million.

The divestiture can potentially help ease antitrust concerns since it lowers NXP’s exposure to the Chinese market at a time when China’s commerce ministry is reviewing Qualcomm’s takeover bid.

Significantly, Qualcomm has already received approval from the eight of the nine regulators whose nod it needs before it can finalize the acquisition.

Further, earlier in January, NXP had announced the end date for finalizing the deal, which was later extended to April 25, following multiple prior extensions.

Neither Qualcomm, NXP or China’s commerce ministry responded to requests for comments.

The deal comes at a time when there is heightened trade tensions between the Washington and Beijing over a proposed U.S. plan to introduce tariffs on Chinese exports to the States.

Earlier in February 2018, in a strategic move the Trump Administration blocked Broadcom Ltd’s acquisition of Qualcomm citing national security concerns.

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