Samsung was mentioned in connection with an acquisition of NXP several years ago but was side-lined when Qualcomm agreed a $44 billion deal to acquire the Dutch chip company (see Qualcomm, NXP discuss merger, say reports). That acquisition did not proceed as it failed to gain approval from Chinese authorities (see NXP acquisition by Qualcomm about to collapse). And then again in 2019 Samsung was rumoured to be interested in acquiring one of NXP, Xilinx and Infineon. AMD has now made a deal to acquire Xilinx (see AMD values Xilinx at $35 billion in take-over bid).
At the end of the 3Q20 Samsung's cash position was 117.9 trillion won (about US$105 billion) providing plenty of cash to buy any of the companies, or more than one. But it is not clear that China would be any more open to Samsung as a consolidator in the semiconductor sector than it was to Qualcomm. And geopolitical tension has increased greatly since the Qualcomm-NXP deal was abandoned. Europe may also have political reason to object to an acquisition of one of its few chip companies of global scale. Semiconductor know-how is increasingsly seen as a strategic asset (see Europe will try to rebuild semiconductor capability using pandemic recovery funds).
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