TSMC Sells Shares in Optical Sensor Unit Before Planned Spinoff

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. sold shares in VisEra Technologies Co. before a planned initial public offering of the image sensor provider.

Taiwan’s largest chipmaker sold 38 million shares in VisEra at NT$240 ($8.60) apiece, cutting its stake in the company to 73.9%, according to a filing to the Taiwan stock exchange Tuesday. It sold the stock to 17 investors, including Fidelity International, Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte and domestic institutions Cathay Life Insurance Co. and Fubon Life Insurance Co.

The transaction was to facilitate a proposed listing of VisEra in Taiwan, TSMC said in the filing without providing further details.

TSMC set up VisEra in 2003 together with Santa Clara, California-based OmniVision Technologies Inc. before buying out its partner in 2015. The company is now seeking to spin off the unit just as a boom in semiconductor demand drives a surge in prices of chipmakers and other companies that supply to the industry. TSMC’s shares have nearly doubled over the past 12 months, making it the world’s 10th most valuable company at about $589 billion.

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