Exclusive: AMD hires bank to explore options - sources

Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:23pm EST
 

By Nadia Damouni and Noel Randewich

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Advanced Micro Devices has hired JPMorgan Chase & Co to explore options, which could include a sale, as the chipmaker struggles to find a role in an industry increasingly focused on mobile and away from traditional PCs, according to three sources familiar with the situation.

The company's stock surged 18 percent on the news before ending up 5 percent at $2.09 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Sources told Reuters on Tuesday that an outright sale of the company is not a priority, and other options for AMD could include a sale of its portfolio of patents.

AMD said in an email to Reuters, "AMD's board and management believe that the strategy the company is currently pursuing to drive long-term growth by leveraging AMD's highly-differentiated technology assets is the right approach to enhance shareholder value. AMD is not actively pursuing a sale of the company or significant assets at this time."

One of Silicon Valley's oldest chipmakers, AMD is laying off engineers and some analysts are concerned it may not find new markets for its chips in time to reverse a declining cash reserve.

AMD's shares have fallen more than 60 percent this year, giving it a market value of about $1.4 billion. It also has long-term debt and capital lease obligations of about $2 billion.

A JPMorgan spokeswoman declined to comment.

Since the early 1980s, AMD has competed with much larger Intel and at times has made inroads with its PC and server chips. But setbacks at AMD limited those gains and AMD now faces new competition from companies designing low-cost and power-efficient chips based on ARM Holdings' technology.   Continued...

 
A new AMD Opteron 6000 series processor is seen on a motherboard during a product launch in Taipei April 14, 2010. REUTERS/Pichi Chuang