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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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AMD is not ending deal with Nvidia
By Randalllind on 7/22/2006 12:14:10 PM , Rating: 2
My take is this AMD has team up with Dell. Dell needs chips and more chips. The chips they make now could very easy be eating by Dell. AMD therefore doesn't have any left for home builder etc.

ATI has fabs and the abilty to make chips today where as AMD would have to build more fabs to keep up. So buying ATI would ease AMD problems for the time being.

Now if in the future they stop making video cards and have everything intergrated into motherboards AMD would favor ATI no doubt. I am sure there will still be nvidia boards.

I am sure AMD wants the hard core ATI and Nvidia crowd and will keep both in the line up.

By RyanVM on 7/22/2006 12:25:08 PM , Rating: 2
Umm, ATI doesn't have any fabs...

By lethalchronic on 7/22/2006 12:53:47 PM , Rating: 2
Well they at least have contracts with third party fabs plus the new AMD fab is being built in New York state. Of course this fab won't be operational for a good while.

By NMDante on 7/22/2006 3:39:45 PM , Rating: 2
ATI uses foundries for it's chips, just like nVidia. So, it won't ease AMDs problems at all. If anything, it might take up "free" fab capacity, but might require re-tooling of certain tools for different processes.

If ATI stopped making standalone GPUs, that would hurt the video card community, since it will leave nVidia (with some stragglers) as the only game in town, and the now $700 top of the line, will be more expensive and the pushing out faster GPUs would slow down, imo.

nVidia might feel slighted by this takeover, but for nVidia to stop making it's popular nForce boards for AMD might hurt them, unless they make a deal with intel to help with it's integrated graphics on certain laptops, and help push SLI for intel based CPUs.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
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