ABC for HTC with Alphabet deal looming

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Shares in the firm ended Wednesday’s session 2.5 per cent higher, the firm is now worth £1.4 billion

HTC has announced today (Sep 20) stocks will cease trading from tomorrow, fuelling speculation an acquisition from Google parent company Alphabet.

The vendor informed the Taiwan Stock Exchange today it is halting shares and said in a statement it “does not comment on market rumour or speculation”. Shares in the firm ended Wednesday’s session 2.5 per cent higher, the firm is now worth £1.4 billion.

The Taiwan Stock Exchange said in a statement: “TWSE announced trading in the shares of HTC Corporation and the securities underlying the company will be halted starting from 21 September 2017 pending the release of material information. The company will apply for resumption of trading after the release of material information.”

HTC was the fifth biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world in 2011, according to figures from Statistica, accounting for 10.7 per cent of the market in Q2 that year.

That figure has massively declined and no longer features in the top performing vendors with analysts on a quarterly basis.

Staff headcount was reduced up to 15 per cent from a  reported 16,746 employees in an attempt to streamline operations.

Alphabet purchased Motorola’s Mobility arm in 2011 for $12.5 billion (£9.2bn) only to sell it on three years later.

Canalys senior analyst Tim Couling doesn’t think HTC will be fully acquired by Google: “Considering the history between the two companies, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Google acquire some of HTC’s phone business taking intellectual property such as engineering talent to further enhance the Pixel range.

“A restructure of any company would prompt shares to be suspended as we have seen. I don’t expect Google to acquire the whole of HTC, yes Google has interest in virtual and augmented reality hardware, but I don’t think they’d want to purchase the Vive arm of HTC yet.

“We will see HTC continue as an entity and create devices. However, Google does have the financial resources to acquire the manufacturer.”

 

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