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Microchip Technology buys rival for US$8.3b

[WASHINGTON] Microchip Technology Inc said Thursday it was buying semiconductor rival Microsemi Corporation for US$8.3 billion - in a deal bringing together two firms in chips for data centres, smart appliances, and aerospace and defence applications.

The boards of both firms approved the deal, worth more than US$10 billion including Microsemi's cash and assets.

The transaction is subject to California-based Microsemi shareholder approval and is expected to close in the first half of this year.

"Microchip and Microsemi have a strong tradition of delivering innovative solutions to demanding customers and markets," said Ganesh Moorthy, president of Arizona-based Microchip.

The combined firm could have more than US$5 billion in annual revenues and a strong presence in chips and controllers for medical devices, smart home appliances and for military-grade and aerospace hardware.

It comes amid a bruising battle between two other chipmakers, as Singapore-based Broadcom seeks to buy US-based Qualcomm in a hostile bid worth an estimated US$117 billion.