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$377m S3-Via deal won't happen before August – official

Taiwan's regulators concerned about venture's scale

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The $377 million joint venture between Via and S3 has stalled over Taiwanese government concerns about the scale of the deal, it has emerged.

S3 admitted last week that Taiwan's regulators had delayed their decision on whether to authorise the JV, which the company had originally planned to have in place by the end of June.

For its part, Via said "the Taiwan government indicated that Via may submit additional information" regarding the deal. It now appears that Taiwan's Investment Commission has demanded Via disclose further details regarding the JV's risks and financial effects.

"This is the largest overseas transaction that has been proposed to us so far this year," a Taiwanese official, who wished to remain anonymous, told Electronics Buyers' News. "We have to evaluate the case with great caution due to the huge amount involved as well as the benefit for Via's shareholders."

Regulatory approval is required for all such deals worth over $50 million.

Other government staff said they are worried because the cash and shares component of the deal, $323 million out of the total $377 million, is nearly three times the size of Via's $120 million paid-in capital.

If those worries are addressed to the satisfaction of Taiwan's regulators, the Via-S3 deal will still not go ahead until mid-August at the earliest, officials said. ®

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