ChinaFabless semiconductor firm Spreadtrum Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRD) and China's Tsinghua Unigroup announced today that the two companies have agreed to a merger under which Tsinghua will pay $31 per American depositary share (ADS) for Spreadtrum. The deal is worth a total of $1.78 billion. Spreadtrum shareholders must approve the deal, and it is subject to regulatory approvals as well.

Tsinghua first offered $28.50 per ADS for the maker of wireless communications chips in late June. That sent Spreadtrum's ADS to a 52-week high of $26.69, and the shares have traded at about that level ever since. The shares posted an all-time high of around $29 in November 2011.

Spreadtrum, which is based in China, is a developer of mobile chipsets for smartphones and other mobile devices. The company has supplier agreements with China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL), the world's largest wireless company, European telecom giant Orange, and Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB).

Tsinghua said there are no financing conditions to its offer. In its original offer in June Tsinghua said the all-cash offer may be financed by a combination of equity and debt. Today's announcement does not indicate a closing date for the transaction.

Shares are trading at $30.18 in the premarket this morning, up 14%, and above the 52-week range of $14.50 to $26.69.

Filed under: Telecom & Wireless Tagged: CHL, FB, SPRD

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