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TDK Semiconductor picks two investment bankers to underwrite a planned IPO

Tustin-based TDK Semiconductor Corp., a unit of Japanese electronics maker TDK Corp., has identified two investment banks to underwrite a planned public offering for the chipmaker, a company spokesman said.

“Next summer is still the target for our IPO,” said TDK Semiconductor spokesman Mark Jorgensen.

TDK Semiconductor declined to name the two investment banks it is looking at and said it also may end up working with a third one.

“We’re talking to all the usual candidates,” TDK Chief Financial Officer Gerald Fitch said in a prior interview. “We want someone who will not only underwrite the IPO, but advise us on other financial issues.”

The offering, which company officials say could fetch as much as $100 million, will give the company ammunition to make more acquisitions.

In December, TDK Semiconductor acquired Mountain View-based Sierra Research and Technology Inc.

The company plans to offer 20% of its shares to the public, with Tokyo-based TDK Corp. retaining the majority.

TDK Semiconductor officials also hope going public will help lure engineers seeking stock options. Company officials say they’ve had some difficulty competing for talent with OC’s other public chip makers.

TDK Semiconductor is betting the market,currently down on chipmakers,will be receptive to an offering next summer. The company’s own business is looking up, according to Jorgensen.

“Several parts of our business are doing fairly well, like our modem business,” he said.

TDK Semiconductor has leased larger office space in Silicon Valley and could be looking for more in OC. The company signed a lease in Mountain View that will allow it to consolidate several facilities and expand later once the market rebounds.

The company says it also is passively looking around OC for more space as rental prices continue to drop. Company executives had said they wanted to add another 15,000 to 20,000 square feet to the company’s current 60,000 square feet of space in Tustin.

Last December, TDK Electronics Corp., another TDK subsidiary, closed its nearby Irvine plant and laid off 200 people and relocated up to 150 others to Anaheim.

The move was part of TDK’s shift away from manufacturing in OC. The company’s new facility in Anaheim handles packaging and distribution of compact disc drives and other computer products. n

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