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Fight for Ottawa semiconductor firm goes public

A bidding war is likely to break out for a small Ottawa semiconductor design company whose products are used by leading wireless network equipment makers.

After the board of Zarlink Semiconductor Inc. rejected another quiet takeover offer from Microsemi Corp. of Irvine, Calif., the U.S company made a public appeal Wednesday to the Canadian’s board of directors with an offer of $3.35 cents a share totalling US$445 million – a 40 per cent premium over the share price the day before — and a challenge to put the offer before shareholders at its annual meeting meeting July 27.

“At that kind of premium why not bring it to shareholders?” Microsemi CEO Jim Patterson asked financial analysts in a conference call. But having been rejected twice by the Zarlink board, Patterson warned that it could turn into a hostile bid. “We would prefer to proceed through friendly negotiation,” he said in a letter to the Zarlink board. “However, please know we stand ready to take all necessary actions to complete this transaction.”

Continue reading at IT World Canada

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