Intel is reportedly offering up to US$6 billion (A$8.27 billion) to acquire Mellanox, a data centre solutions vendor that has already received interest from Microsoft and Xilinx.
Multiple Israeli news outlets reported the news, pinning Intel's offer between US$5.5 billion and US$6 billion in cash and stock. At the high end, it would represent a 35 percent premium on Mellanox's stock price on Tuesday's market close, which was US$81.67 per share. The offer, which was made in recent months, is still open, Calcalist reported.
Mellanox's stock price rose as much as 8 percent on Wednesday morning.
Intel and Mellanox did not respond to a request for comment by press time. The two companies declined to comment on Calcalist's story.
Intel was previously named as a potential buy among Xilinx and Broadcom in a note written by Piper Jaffray analysts in October. CNBC reported in November that Xilinx, which competes with Intel in data centre specialty chips, was reportedly offering $5.5 billion for Mellanox. A month later, Microsoft emerged as another potential buyer after hiring Goldman Sachs to negotiate a deal.
After Mellanox hired a new CFO at the beginning of the year, Piper Jaffray analysts said that the company was likely no longer selling itself but didn't rule out the possibility entirely.
A competitor and customer of Intel, Mellanox sells a variety of data centre products ranging from ethernet switches, chips and InfiniBand intelligent interconnect solutions to servers, storage and hyper-converged infrastructure.
Last June, Mellanox, based in Israel, appointed three new board members in a settlement with activist investment firm Starboard Value after the firm threatened to oust all sitting directors.
Intel's reported offer to Mellanox comes as the semiconductor giant is expecting a slowdown in data centre growth, largely due to lower demand from cloud service providers and Chinese customers. The company said it expects growth to pick up again in mid-2019.