Chipmaker MaxLinear Terminates Acquisition of Taiwan’s Silicon Motion

(Bloomberg) — MaxLinear Inc., a maker of chips for broadband communications, said it terminated its attempt to acquire Silicon Motion Technology Corp., ending a cash-and-stock deal worth $3.8 billion.

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The Carlsbad, California-based company said in a statement Wednesday that Taiwan-based Silicon Motion failed to complete some of the conditions of closing, suffered a “material adverse effect,” and is in breach of agreements.

The transaction, which would have been MaxLinear’s largest, was originally planned to close in the first half of this year.

Silicon Motion makes NAND flash controllers for solid-state storage devices. It also supplies data center and specialized industrial and automotive solid-state drives.

The announcement comes shortly after the transaction had received a sign-off from regulators in China, the largest market for semiconductors. Silicon Motion’s US-listed shares had rose 25% Wednesday after that approval, with conditions attached, according to a statement on the State Administration for Market Regulation’s website in China. MaxLinear shares closed down 13% in regular trading in New York.

Semiconductors have become a crucial area of dispute between China and the US in their growing geopolitical rivalry.

The US government wants to limit access to the technology by Beijing, regarding it as a threat to national security, and has introduced measures to limit exports to the world’s second-largest economy. That increasing tension has made cross-border acquisitions more difficult to complete in an uncertain regulatory environment.

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