After reports of HTC and Google being in the final stages of a buy out for HTC’s mobile division, the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer has called a halt to share trading tomorrow ahead of a ‘pending major announcement’.
The news was broken by Bloomberg Gadfly’s Tim Culpan who tweeted the news:
HTC just announced it's shares will halt trading tomorrow (Thur) pending a major announcement.
— Tim Culpan (@tculpan) September 20, 2017
The rumours of Google buying out HTC’s mobile division surfaced almost two weeks ago. The rumour focused on Google buying out HTC’s mobile division only, not the Virtual Reality focused Vive division. with Chinese-language news outlet Commercial Times, saying
It is understood that Google is the strategy to invest or buy HTC smart phone R & D team to discuss the matter, the negotiations have entered the final stage, the slowest will be completed by the end of the year.
The Taiwanese Stock Exchange Corporation (TWSE) now lists a new press release on their website which says:
TWSE announced trading in the shares of HTC Corporation (Code：2498) and the securities underlying the company will be halted starting from Sep 21 2017 pending the release of material information. The company will apply for resumption of trading after the release of material information.
China Times has further added fuel to the rumour of a Google buyout with their latest article saying the announcement will take place in 2 days time. China Times has also confirmed that HTC Chairperson Cher Wang is remaining near to HTC’s headquarters instead of jetting off to the Tokyo Game Show to promote the Vive.
For their part, HTC has, in typical for any big company, made a very simple statement on the rumoured purchase:
HTC does not comment on market rumor or speculation.
The news comes ahead of Google’s October 4th Pixel announcement which was almost completely spoiled earlier today. HTC has been accepted as the manufacturer of the smaller Pixel 2 which will also feature the squeezable frame that is highly featured on HTC’s U11 handset.
If indeed Google is purchasing HTC, this wouldn’t be the first time that Google has dabbled in owning a hardware manufacturer, they notably purchased Motorola’s handset division in 2012 before selling it off to Lenovo – sans patents – in 2014.
A purchase of HTC could be more of a play to enter the hardware market rather than a purchase for patents which is what the Motorola deal has come to be accepted as. Google has made big splashes with the idea of ‘Made by Google’ with the Pixel line, and owning an actual phone maker, as well as using their own in-house designed chips, would go a long way to owning the complete stack.
Exactly why HTC has called for the trading halt will be made clear later in the week.