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Via admits it's in talks to buy S3 chip unit

But other companies are talking to S3 too, Via confirms

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Taiwan's Via Technologies has confirmed it is talking to S3 with a view to buying the graphics-to-gadgets company's 3D processor operation, according to Taiwanese business paper the Commercial Times (CT). Via emerged as the front-runner in the race to buy S3's chip business, nosing ahead of the favourite, Nvidia. Hints that Via was talking to S3 began to appear earlier this year, but little more was heard until S3 last week confessed it was talking to one or more third-parties. S3 insiders last week claimed the company had been talking to Via, but neither company would confirm this - until now. Curiously, Via admitted that there were indeed other companies talking to S3, so it's not possible to rule out an acquisition by Nvidia, Intel, ATI or another company. Via owns 14.9 per cent of S3, so it's possible that Via is acting now to prevent the loss of the 3D business to a rival. Certainly the early rumours of Via-S3 talks focused on an acquisition of the company in its entirety, rather than its 3D chip business. Via is clearly confident that it will win through. CT reported that the deal should be settled any day now, and that Via will spin off the chip business as an independent operation, presumably with Via retaining control through a majority shareholding. ® Related Stories S3 Sweepstake: Via edges into the lead S3 chip team sale: the potential buyers lined up S3 readies graphics chips hive-off

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