Taiwan chipmaker targets US$150m from listing in Tokyo

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 23 April, 2007, 12:00am

Alchip Technologies, a Taiwanese chipmaker with operations in the mainland, plans to raise as much as US$150 million from an initial public offering in Tokyo as early as the fourth quarter, market sources said.

Alchip's shareholders included Japanese private equity fund Softbank, which holds a stake through its Asia infrastructure fund, and US-based Cisco Systems, the largest manufacturer of computer networking equipment.

The company might become the third firm with significant mainland business to have a listing in Japan after Xinhua Finance in 2004 and AsiaMedia, which will list on Thursday.

Mainland chipmaker Rock Mobile scrapped plans to raise a similar amount through an offering in Tokyo earlier this year, market sources said.

The company's earnings suffered as competition intensified in the wireless value-added content sector, such as mobile phone ringtone downloads.

'An overseas listing in Tokyo doesn't really make sense,' said one China banker. 'The liquidity is in Hong Kong.'

Alchip manufactures application-specific integrated circuits, which are only partially custom designed to make them cheaper to produce with a faster development cycle than chips engineered from scratch.

Alchip's chips are used in electronic devices including mobile phones, camcorders and computers.

The company earned US$35 million in 2005, according to its website. It did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Asia Media, a Beijing-based company that provides television programmes to cable networks, raised the equivalent of US$35 million last week after pricing shares at 640 yen (HK$42.13) each, the highest end of an indicative range marketed to investors that began at 600 yen.

The shares will start trading on Thursday.

The shares will trade on Tokyo's 'Mother's Board', an exchange aimed at attracting rapidly growing companies.

Xinhua Finance, which provides news and financial data on China, became the first mainland company to raise funds through an initial public offering in Japan in 2004. The company shares have since fallen 58 per cent.

Japan's Nikkei-225 Index is up 1.3 per cent this year while the broader Topix has risen 1.7 per cent.