April 8, 2016 / 4:26 PM / a year ago

NXP Semiconductor weighing sale of standard products business: Bloomberg

A man works on a tent for NXP Semiconductors in preparation for the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada January 4, 2015. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

(Reuters) - NXP Semiconductors NV is considering a sale of its standard products business and has received interest from Chinese buyers, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

NXP, whose shares were up about 3 percent in early U.S. trading, may seek at least $2 billion for the unit, which makes semiconductor parts used in consumer electronics, Bloomberg reported.

Faltering demand in computer and phone markets, once semiconductor industry mainstays, have fueled a year-long merger wave as firms look to higher margin areas like automotive electronics for sales growth.

NXP signaled its commitment to such a strategy in December when it completed a near $12 billion deal to buy Freescale Semiconductor Inc and became the world’s top maker of automotive electronics.

The standard products business has drawn interest from suitors including Jianguang Asset Management Co, the Beijing-based investment firm known as JAC Capital, according to Bloomberg.

NXP, which grew out of Dutch consumer electronics giant Philips, sold its RF Power business to Jianguang Asset Management last year for $1.8 billion.

China has shown particular interest in investing in foreign technology companies as Beijing seeks to become a global semiconductor powerhouse.

Joon Knapen, a spokesman for NXP, said the company did not comment on rumors or speculation. JAC Capital did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.

The standard products unit is expected to contribute about 13 percent to NXP’s first quarter revenue, estimated to be $2.17 billion, the company said in February.

Up to Thursday’s close of $81.26, NXP’s shares had fallen more than 3 percent this year.

Reporting by Narottam Medhora and Richa Naidu in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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