Over the weekend, a rumor surfaced that Asus made a bid for ASRock's motherboard division. If true, the deal would not only strengthen Asus' overall motherboard portfolio, but take the #3 motherboard player off the map. That would leave Gigabyte, MSI, ECS and numerous other manufacturers fighting against an even larger Asus for the DIY consumer dollar.
Taiwan-based ASRock was originally formed in 2002 to compete with the likes of Foxconn, but then accelerated its presence in the DIY sector once the Taiwan Stock Exchange launched in 2007. "Creativity, Consideration, Cost-effectiveness" is the company’s motto, as it "explores the limit of motherboards manufacturing while paying attention on the eco issue at the same time." It's currently owned by Pegatron Corporation, a spinoff company and former subsidiary of Asus.
Pegatron was initially incorporated in 2007 as a part of Asus' plan to divide its business into focused work forces. Pegatron was assigned to serve as the company's design and manufacturing service provider of computer related products, but it eventually became a stand-alone spinoff in January 2010. The company’s portfolio includes desktops, motherboards, video cards, and more.
According to the rumor, Pegatron has given the acquisition's terms a green light. Without the motherboard division, ASRock will still have other products to offer like Mini PCs, industrial PCs, servers and workstations, and laptops. But ASRock is seemingly best known for its motherboards, ranked #3 in the industry and even earned the Tom's Hardware Approved Award 2012 in July for its Z77 Extreme6 and Z77 Extreme4 boards.
The acquisition rumor was first reported by SemiAccurate who believes that this transaction could destabilize the "already unhealthy industry" – or the motherboard sector at least – leaving Asus and Gigabyte as the only two players. The acquisition would also take its toll on the upstream and downstream supply chain not to mention the motherboard players who didn't have the revenue to compete with Asus and ASRock as standalone entities.
As of this writing, Asus and ASRock had not commented on the rumor. The details surrounding the supposed acquisition are also scarce, so stay tuned.