Meanwhile, the news of the potential buyout of Freescale caught analysts by surprise. On the surface, Freescale's recent financial performance appears to be healthy, said Robert Lineback, an analyst with IC Insights Inc.
Freescale, on the other hand, may be willing to give up its independence and engage with the various equity firms and for good reason: to create shareholder value, Lineback said. "[Freescale's] stock value is low," he said. "They are appealing to shareholders."
Other problems could be surfacing at Freescale. In a big setback, StarCore LLC, the digital signal processor (DSP) organization formed by Agere, Freescale and Infineon, is shutting down.
And as Philips Semiconductors, now NXP, becomes independent of the Dutch giant Royal Philips Electronics, the new company may be starting off with a bang that shocks its industry partners by withdrawing from the Crolles 2 Alliance.
The alliance is a partnership created in 2002 in Crolles, France by STMicroelectronics, Philips and Freescale Semiconductor Inc., with a goal to collaborate in the research, development and industrialization of CMOS process technologies begun at 90-nm and ultimately attaining a 32-nm node.
The move could leave Freescale and ST holding the bag. Without the important third partner in the alliance, the ability to develop future and costly processes could be in doubt.
But with or without the Crolles 2 distraction, the news of a potential buyout at Freescale could have a more obvious impact at the U.S. chip maker. The ongoing news of a buyout becomes a "disruptive" force in Freescale's day-to-day business affairs, Lineback added.