Is Google closing in on a $1B HTC asset deal?

Is Google closing in on a $1B HTC asset deal?

Reports indicate Google is close to closing a deal for HTC's assets

Alphabet’s Google is close to acquiring assets of Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC, Bloomberg has reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Subsequent reports indicate that the value of the potential deal could be around US$1 billion, and include part of the Taiwanese tech firm's smartphone operations.

The Taiwan stock exchange said on Wednesday that HTC shares will be halted from 21 September on a pending news announcement.

Bloomberg reported last month that the smartphone maker was said to be exploring options that could range from spinning off its virtual reality business to selling itself.

Both HTC and Google declined to comment.

Rumours of the impending asset sale come just weeks after reports emerged that HTC was exploring options that could range from spinning off its virtual reality (VR) business to selling itself entirely.

According to reports, the Taiwanese firm has been working with an adviser as it considers bringing in an investor or selling its Vive VR headset business.

HTC's market value has fallen almost 75 per cent to US$1.78 billion in the last five years as its smartphone business has suffered heavily.

Indeed, the company has been trying to turn around its business by focusing on high-end VR headsets.

HTC has an 8.4 per cent share of the AR/VR headset market, as of the first quarter of 2017, according to research firm, IDC.

Earlier in June, HTC said its VR headset will be compatible with Apple Inc's High Sierra operating system, which is scheduled for release later this year.

(Reporting by Munsif Vengattil; Editing by Anil D'Silva – additional reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar and Shounak Dasgupta)

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