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Morris Chang would agree to sale of TSMC if price is right

2018/02/01 20:55:04

Taipei, Feb. 1 (CNA) Morris Chang (張忠謀), founder and chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC, 台積電), said that if a good price was offered for control of the world's largest contract foundry chipmaker, he would consider selling.

Chang, who is set to retire in June, made the comment in a recent interview with CommonWealth magazine when asked how he would respond if a private equity firm or other company wanted to buy TSMC.

Foreign institutional investors hold roughly 80 percent of TSMC shares, the most heavily weighted stock on the local market.

Chang said that if a buyer offered to buy TSMC stocks for NT$300 (US$10.44) per share, the company's market capitalization would soar to a new all-time high of NT$8 trillion (US$273.38 billion).

However, Chang admitted such an idea was fanciful given that TSMC's market cap has already risen so much.

TSMC's share price gained 1.76 percent to close at NT$259.50 on Taiwan's stock market on Thursday, bringing its market cap to NT$6.72 trillion.

If a foreign business operations team wants to get a seat on the company's board of directors, it would have to spend an estimated US$22 billion to take a 10-percent stake in the company, Chang noted, adding it is very unlikely that will happen.

He noted that TSMC's current management team controls about 70 percent of the company's shares.

(By Jackson Chang and Evelyn Kao)