Intel Corporation and Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd. jointly announced that both parties have signed a series of agreements to expand the product offerings and adoption for Intel-based mobile devices in China and worldwide by jointly developing Intel® Architecture and communications-based solutions for mobile phones. Intel also has agreed to invest in a minority stake of approximately 20 percent of the holding company under Tsinghua Unigroup which will own Spreadtrum Communications and RDA Microelectronics. Intel’s investment, valued at approximately US$1.5 billion, is expected to close in early 2015. This is a significant move for Intel into China and other emerging markets dominated by low-cost devices. Under the agreements, the companies will jointly develop Intel-based chips for mobile phones.
Morrison & Foerster is advising Intel with a deal team led by Hong Kong partner Marcia Ellis and San Francisco partner Robert Townsend on the investment and San Francisco partner Rufus Pichler as lead advisor on the commercial transactions. The corporate team also included Shanghai partner Maria Wang, Hong Kong partner Xiaohu Ma with Hong Kong associates Benjamin Wang and Ivy Tang and Beijing associate Lei Ouyang. Advice was also provided by Hong Kong partner Gordon Milner and New York associate Ken Nicholds on the commercial side; Washington, D.C. partner Jonathan Gowdy on antitrust matters; and Washington, D.C. partner Charles Duross and San Francisco partner Stacey Sprenkel on FCPA matters.
The firm has a longstanding relationship with Intel, having led the majority of its acquisitions and investments for a number of years. Those include Intel’s partnership with another Chinese chip maker Rockchip, as well as a number of landmark deals, including its $7.7 billion acquisition of McAfee, its $4 billion investment in ASML, its $740 million investment in Cloudera, and its recent $650 million acquisition of LSI’s Axxia Networking Business. MoFo also represented Tsinghua Unigroup in its $1.8 billion acquisition of Spreadtrum and its $907 million acquisition of RDA Microelectronics.