S3, VIA clear final chip business takeover hurdle

Taiwanese gov't terms and conditions met

S3 and VIA have finally completed, signed and mailed off their new takeover application form to the Taiwanese Government.

Or, to put it S3's way, the two companies have "have completed the requirements of all government agencies for the previously announced joint venture transaction to proceed".

That joint venture is the sale of S3's 3D graphics chip operation to VIA, a transaction that had been due for completion at the end of June but was rejected by Taiwan's mergers and monopolies regulators.

VIA and S3 then began talks with the Taiwanese Government to discuss the latter's opposition to the deal - too much stock and cash leaving a Taiwanese company for a foreign one - and to find an arrangement that the regulators would be happy with.

That resulted in a reduced sale price and terms, with the cash and stock component falling from $377 million to $288 million.

The deal is not yet done and dusted, but presumably a final OK from the Taiwanese Government is merely a formality, its terms and conditions having now been met.

"We are pleased to have completed this important step and look forward to closing the transaction as soon as possible," said VIA's president and CEO, Wen-Chi Chen. ®

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