Wednesday Taiwan-based x86 processor platform developer VIA Technologies said that it signed a definitive agreement to sell all of its shareholding in S3 Graphics to smartphone manufacturer HTC.
The company originally acquired S3 Graphics back in 2001 with the intention to accelerate integration of graphics capabilities with its processor and chipset products. But by 2005, S3 Graphics was unable to acquire the funds it needed to stay afloat (aka undercapitalized), thus private investment company WTI Investment International, Ltd. (“WTI”) stepped in as an additional investor to help fund the operations and R&D initiatives. Cher Wang, Chairman of VIA, is a significant shareholder of WTI.
"Under terms of the agreement with HTC, total consideration for all outstanding shares of S3 Graphics will be US$300 million," VIA said in an announcement. "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."
Although the proposed transaction has been given the green light by VIA, WTI and HTC board of directors, it will still be subject to regulatory approvals and "other customary conditions." The deal is expected to be sealed before the end of 2011.