Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. has denied a report it received an offer for the purchase of majority owner Temasek Holdings' interest in the Singapore-based IC wafer foundry.
The company said in a statement it had "not received such a bid from" Advanced Technology Investment Co., the Abu Dhabi investment company that recently pumped money into GlobalFoundry Co., the manufacturing division spun off by microprocessor and graphics semiconductor vendor Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
"From time to time, Chartered engages various parties in discussions to pursue business opportunities or concerning the strategic direction of the company, with a view to maximizing value for all shareholders," Chartered said in a statement. "There is no assurance that any definitive or binding agreement will result from these discussions."
The Business Times had earlier reported ATIC offered to pay $2.45 billion, or between $2.40 and $2.60 per share, for the 60 percent of Chartered's common shares owned by Temasek. The report sparked a temporary rally in Chartered's stock price, spurring the company to ask for a halt in trading to address the development.
Chartered is struggling to counter the sharp decline in demand for its services that began in the fourth quarter of 2008 and has seen plant capacity utilization droop to a low of 38 percent in the first quarter, from 86 percent in the comparable quarter of 2008.
Revenue in the first quarter fell 38 percent from the year-ago quarter, to $244 million, and the company posted net loss of $99 million compared with net profit of $2.4 million in the first quarter of 2008.
In a statement announcing first quarter results, Chartered said it expects second quarter revenue to increase to approximately $327 million with capacity utilization climbing to 58 percent or above as customers restock depleted inventory. The company said it still expects to post a loss of $59 million or more for the quarter, however.
Chartered has reported net losses in the last three quarters and is struggling to reduce operating costs in a difficult market. Despite a surge in sales for 2008, the company recorded a huge loss as margins wilted and as costs, including selling, general and administrative as well as R&D expenses, continued to climb.
A spokeswoman for Chartered said the company had no additional comments on the disposal of Temasek's interest aside from the statement issued in Singapore.