Rumors suggest impending sale of Agilent semiconductor group

Agilent is reportedly looking for a buyer for its semiconductor group, which includes its LED business and its share in Lumileds.

A report in the Wall Street Journal indicates that investment banking firm Goldman Sachs has been appointed to handle the sale of Agilent Technologies' semiconductor products group (SPG).

As well as including Agilent's LED business, the group also has a stake in Lumileds Lighting, the joint venture with Philips Lighting that produces high-brightness LEDs.

Agilent refused to comment on the rumors, although the company's CFO recently described the SPG as non-core, compared with Agilent's life sciences and test & measurement divisions.

The sales could raise $1.5-2.0 billion. In the quarter ended April 30, 2005, the SPG reported revenue of $414 million and an operating profit of $12 million, down from $457 million in revenue and $50 million in profit in the year-ago quarter.

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