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Reports claim a $5.6B deal is about to close on an unprecedented merger

According to a report in The Globe and Mail, the board of directors at AMD has allegedly approved the takeover of Canadian graphics firm ATI Technologies. The report claims that the information was released by an investment banker that was part of the discussions. According to other sources, AMD executives were also seen at ATI's headquarters in Markham, Ontario. The report indicated that AMD is considering a $5.6 billion takeover bid for ATI.

Speculation and rumors have run rampant over the last several months about the possible merger between AMD and ATI, but no concrete details have been revealed. According to reports on ATI's share prices, the company's shares have been trading at double the usual volume today. Analysts said that AMD would be making an offer of 20 to 40 percent premium to ATI's current share price. ATI shares traded at $16.12 on the NASDAQ today during after hours, which is up 39 cents from yesterday's closing.

Reuters has also picked up on the story, claiming that "Some analysts have questioned the rationale for an AMD-ATI merger, and others were surprised that the speculation received no attention from analysts during AMD's earnings conference call on Thursday."  DailyTech had punched in for question during the investor conference call on Thursday, but a moderator would not respond.

According to Eric Gomberg, an analyst for investment bank Thomas Weisel Partners, "there has been considerable industry speculation that AMD may pursue an acquisition of ATI Technologies, although such an outcome is by no means certain." Gomberg's comment came in earlier this week, but word circulating around investment bankers who are aware of the talks between ATI and AMD surfaced just several hours ago.

Recent reports indicated that Intel roadmaps no longer included ATI chipsets. Although Intel had been producing motherboards using ATI logic, upcoming boards like those that support Core 2 processors are void of any chipset from ATI. Interestingly, ATI and Intel had agreed to several cross-licensing programs that allowed them to take advantage of some of each other's technologies. Several analysts however, indicated that the merger between AMD and ATI to be "out of strategy for AMD and out of focus. Stupidity is no barrier to tech mergers."

A report in the Wall Street Journal confirms the talks between AMD and ATI (subscription required) today. Although the deal is not final, the report said that representatives from both companies declined to comment.

AMD has previously indicated that it would embrace embedded processor technologies for its Torrenza platform -- some of which would include math and physics co-processors.  However, the company has recently exited all non-x86 processor design.

Update 07/24/2006: AMD and ATI jointly announced the confirmation of the $5.4B merger today (July 24, 2006)

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I'll believe it when I see it....
By MDme on 7/22/2006 12:52:07 AM , Rating: 3
This is really gonna be interesting for AMD....maybe they want to use the ring-bus memory controller technology for their cpu's remember it's a memory controller that performed well and also supported more than 1 type of memory (GDDR3/4)

Also, maybe this is AMD's way of getting GPUs into HTX/CPU slots for their Torrenza initiative.

It may also lead to a unique gaming landscape change when you consider benchmarking AMD (CPU) + ATI (GPU) systems vs core 2 and nvidia systems. I mean, AMD may want to capture the enthusiast/gaming market by claiming that AMD (CPU) + ATI (GPU) will be faster than conroe. (assuming the R600 beats the G80)

oh well....I'll believe it when I see it. :)

By Janooo on 7/22/2006 1:26:55 AM , Rating: 2
Intel already sells chipsets and boards; AMD is just catching up ;)
Selling CPU, chipset, mobo and GPU as a package makes a lot of sence.

And you are right: Torrenza with ATI physics and Conroe is obsolete for a gaming box!

RE: I'll believe it when I see it....
By theteamaqua on 7/22/2006 2:44:03 AM , Rating: 2
i totally agree with u mean. i dont want to see nvidia stop making chipset for AMD , nor intel chipset not supporting crossfire (umm i975)

and yeah VIA we need u in this crappy world of ours

By Locutus465 on 7/22/2006 8:16:40 PM , Rating: 2
To make it crappier? I've been using AMD products for a long time, at first because they were the only decent solution I could afford, then because the were presenting extreamly comptitive solutions to Intel and a reasonable price. Through out it all, the one constant issue had been chipsets, specifically VIA. It was so bad that even when AMD chipsets were considered out dated and obsolete durring the early athlon days I would continue to build systems for friends and family around them because it still provided an over all better computing experience compared to what VIA had on the market. It wasn't until nVidia entered the sceen that things got better.

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher
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