Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), the largest memory chip manufacturer in the US, on Friday filed a new shareholders rights plan with the Securities Exchange Commission and the move has seen the company’s share price rise by more than 6% by Monday morning.
The move, which most analysts consider to be a strategic ‘poison pill’ was taken by the company in a seemingly last-ditch attempt to ward off the possibility of a takeover or an unwanted acquisition. In the new deal, a public rights issue by the company will automatically be triggered in the event that any group or individual acquires more than 4.99% of the company’s outstanding shares. The idea, according to the company, is twofold- to prevent a strategic acquisition of the company and to preserve the tax benefits that the company enjoys.
Micron’s shares have taken a serious beating in recent years and share prices have fallen by 24% within the first year alone. However, following the news of the new plan on Friday, share prices rose by 6.6% to rest at $14 by 2.00PM on New York trading. Although this will go a long way in offsetting the 7.3% loss that had been witnessed through the year until Friday, it still does not get the company out of the woods.
Interestingly, it is the very event that the plan was formed to prevent that has led to the rise in Micron’s share prices. By simply creating and filing the plan, Micron sparked off speculation among investors that there might be a possibility of a takeover or acquisition of the company and they swooped in to take strategic positions.
If any such takeovers were to take place, China and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) the two giants with the largest shares in Micron are the likeliest companies to be executing it. But analysts say that this is unlikely to happen unless it is jointly undertaken or a deal is reached between them. Intel already gets what it wants through its shares in Micron so it may not be very interested in a takeover while China is likely to face a lot of resistance from US investors and shareholders.