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November 28, 2012

Chipmaker AMD to Sell and Lease Back Texas Facility

By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor

While many chipmakers are troubled today, largely because of the decline in sales of PCs in favor of mobile devices, many are trying to catch up by diversifying into chips for smartphones and tablets. The tricky part, of course, is raising money to make the switch.

One chipmaker is taking an unusual path to raising the money it requires.

U.S. chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD (News - Alert)) has announced plans to sell -- and then lease back -- its business campus in Austin, Texas as a way of raising cash to help it diversify beyond the struggling PC industry into new markets, Reuters is reporting this week.

The company, which is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, expects to sell its Texas-based 58-acre site for between $150 million and $200 million and close a deal in the second quarter of 2013, company spokesman Drew Prairie told Reuters (News - Alert).

"There are favorable economic conditions in the part of Austin where the campus is located," Prairie said. "Contingent on finding an investor who wants to do a multiyear lease-back, it's a good opportunity for us to unlock the value of the real estate to fund operations."

This isn’t the first property AMD has done the sell-and-lease process with. According to Prairie, AMD's headquarters in Sunnyvale as well as a building near Toronto were sold and leased back in the past.

AMD, one of Silicon Valley's oldest chipmakers, has been laying off engineers while looking for new markets for its chips as it faces depleting cash reserves, according to Reuters. The company’s larger rival, Intel (News - Alert), has also seen declines in its chip sales as the traditional PC market becomes more depressed.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman
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