Who's going to gobble Microsemi? Chip flinger looks for suitors

And someone has already offered

Microsemi, flogger of military and aerospace semiconductors, is reportedly looking for buyers after it was propositioned by an unnamed company.

The firm has hired investment bank Qatalyst Partners to advise it on the best course of action, including a possible sale, according to Reuters.

Neither the company nor the bank responded to requests for comment, the news agency reported.

Microsemi sells semiconductors and systems to aerospace and defence, communications, data centres and industrial sectors.

Consolidation is rife in the semiconductor market. Industry heavyweight Qualcomm recently rejected a $103bn (£72bn) hostile takeover from rival Broadcom.

It is unclear whether Microsemi will also view its rumoured offer as an indecent proposal.

Much of the firm's growth to date has been fuelled by a series of acquisitions, such as its $2.5bn (£1.7bn) takeover of semiconductor outfit PMC-Sierra in 2016, and more recently its $130m (£91m) buy-up of high performance timing biz Vectron International at the end of 2017.

For its full-year 2017, Microsemi reported net sales of $1.8bn (£1.26bn), up 9.5 per cent from the previous year. Net income rose to $176.3m (£123m), up from a loss of $32.6m (£22.8m) for the year before.

In its earnings call, chief exec James Peterson was asked by analyst Quinn Bolton, from Needham & Company, whether there was a risk of "some softness" in the defence market.

"Yes. Like I said, we don't have a budget, right? But the orders have been robust," he said.

Paul Pickle, chief operating officer at Microsemi, added that the firm expects strong growth in the storage market in 2018. "We're projecting a rather stiff double-digit increase this next year." ®

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