Lattice Semiconductor shareholders voted in favor of the Portland company's sale Tuesday, but investors remain skeptical the deal will take place.
A newly formed investment firm called Canyon Bridge Capital Partners, backed by the Chinese government, agreed last year to buy Lattice for $1.3 billion. In Tuesday's vote, Lattice said nearly 78 percent of shareholders supported the merger. The deal had virtually no opposition, but 22 percent of shareholders didn't vote.
Lattice's sale needs sign-off, though, from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which reviews such transactions for national security implications.
Members of Congress have asked the committee to block the transaction, warning that it could have negative consequences for national defense and the U.S. economy. Lattice, which makes a programmable computer chip, maintains it has almost completely exited the defense market.
"Today's shareholder vote is another resounding endorsement of the tremendous shareholder value the merger will unlock and the compelling strategic benefits to our company, customers and employees," Lattice chief executive Darin Billerbeck said in a written statement. He said the process of securing federal approval for the deal "is well under way."
Investors have never been optimistic, though, and Thursday's vote didn't change that. Canyon Bridge offered $8.30 for Lattice but its shares closed up 3 cents Tuesday at $7.07. That's closer to where Lattice was trading before Canyon Bridge's offer than to the offer price.
-- Mike Rogoway; twitter: @rogoway; 503-294-7699
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