Wednesday, July 6th 2011

VIA Technologies Announces Sale of Stake in S3 Graphics

VIA Technologies, Inc. ("VIA") today announced the signing of definitive agreement to sell all of its shareholding in S3 Graphics Co., Ltd. ("S3 Graphics") to HTC Corporation ("HTC"). S3 Graphics is a leading provider of innovative graphics visualization technologies used in PCs, game consoles and, more recently, mobile devices.

VIA acquired S3 Graphics in 2001 with the intention to accelerate integration of graphics capabilities with its processor and chipset products. S3 Graphics became undercapitalized in 2005, and VIA introduced WTI Investment International, Ltd. ("WTI") as a new investor to help fund the operations and R&D initiatives. WTI is a private investment company, in which Cher Wang, Chairman of VIA, is a significant shareholder.

Under terms of the agreement with HTC, total consideration for all outstanding shares of S3 Graphics will be US$300 million. Of which, VIA will receive US$147 million; and WTI will receive US$153 million. VIA will recognize a capital gain of US$ $37 million and paid-in-capital of US$ 115 million in this transaction.

"The transaction would allow VIA to monetize a portion of its rich IP portfolio, yet retain its graphics capabilities to support the development and sale of its processors and chipsets," said Tzu-mu Lin, Senior Vice President and Board Director of VIA. "We wish to thank WTI for its capital contribution to support S3 Graphics since 2005."

The proposed transaction has received approvals from the boards of directors of VIA, WTI, and HTC. Subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions, the transaction is expected to close before end of 2011.
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14 Comments on VIA Technologies Announces Sale of Stake in S3 Graphics

#1
AndreiD
So I'm guessing HTC will start making (designing) their own ARM SOCs? Or at least want to?
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#2
HalfAHertz
by: AndreiD
So I'm guessing HTC will start making (designing) their own ARM SOCs? Or at least want to?
I don't think so. The SoC market is quite saturated as it is. I believe HTC only did it for the patents. 300mil is not a lot of money for them and those patents are a good future investment considering that the GPUs inside smart phones and tablets are quickly catching up to the integrated graphics on the Desktop side. That means that they'll be stepping over AMD, Nvidia and even Intel's turf soon enough and will need something to protect themselves from any misdirected lawsuits.
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#3
Ferrum Master
Mhrmm I still do not get it... HTC and S3? No sense at all...

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#4
RejZoR
WHat this means is that HTC will hold the stake share but VIA will still market their own brand (S3). This is pretty much like VAG group for cars. Volkswagen controls everything but for example Skoda and Seat still operate on their own, under their own brand. It's not much different here. HTC will be the owner but VIA will market and develop S3 on their own. That's how i understand it.
I mean that's what a stake share means. If it wasn't this, tthen we'd be talking about division acquisitions and sales of S3 division.
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#5
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: AndreiD
So I'm guessing HTC will start making (designing) their own ARM SOCs? Or at least want to?
Plausible. HTC is big enough to get an ARM license, and become a SoC designer. S3 holds a lot of graphics IP.
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#6
dhdude
I highly doubt HTC will look to start creating their own SoCs as Qualcomm are a large stakeholder in HTC, and currently HTC only use Qualcomm chips, so that wouldnt make any Sense (no pun intended...) :laugh:
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#7
micropage7
yeah anyway i hope after that i still hear VIA chip. VIA although aint shine bright enough its been a while in market so i hope it will stay like that
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#8
HalfAHertz
by: dhdude
I highly doubt HTC will look to start creating their own SoCs as Qualcomm are a large stakeholder in HTC, and currently HTC only use Qualcomm chips, so that wouldnt make any Sense (no pun intended...) :laugh:
Oh yea I forgot about that. Another reason why we won't see HTC branded SoCs :)
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#9
Thefumigator
Intel could buy S3 and vastly improve their graphics technology. Really. :p
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#10
Shihabyooo
by: Thefumigator
Intel could buy S3 and vastly improve their graphics technology. Really. :p
They made it clear that they have no intention of competing in the discrete graphics market. And their current IGPs aren't half bad for what they're worth. It would be great news if they changed their minds and hit the market. At least the competition would drive the prices down. wouldn't mind a 300$ GTX 580.
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#11
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
I love VIA, but the prices are not good. The Nano CPU was actually pretty good and often beat similiar specced Atoms, but boards are still like three times the price of equivalent Intel offerings. Also it would be good if they could make some multicores already.

Oh, and more nanoITX and smaller.
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#12
micropage7
dont forget the first that use mini itx form is VIA
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#13
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: micropage7
dont forget the first that use mini itx form is VIA
Aye, but they have pretty much lost that market now imo. They're not very affordable at all unless there's some special circumstances involved. They do have some pretty rad nano/pico boards though.
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#14
Delta6326
by: Shihabyooo
They made it clear that they have no intention of competing in the discrete graphics market. And their current IGPs aren't half bad for what they're worth. It would be great news if they changed their minds and hit the market. At least the competition would drive the prices down. wouldn't mind a 300$ GTX 580.
If Intel gets in then that will make W1zz's job crazy busy :D Sure wouldn't mind some cheap gpu's.
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