Intel nears deal to acquire Altera for $15 billion

Computer giant Intel is close to a deal of acquiring smaller chip maker Altera for about $15 billion.

The New York Post reported that the deal price could be as much as $54 a share, a 15pc premium over Altera's Thursday closing price of $46.97. According to the report, the deal will happen most probably by the end of next week. However, the talks could still fall apart.

Earlier this year, Intel signed a standstill agreement with Altera that gave the company to launch a hostile bid. The agreement will expire on June 1.

In April, Altera rejected an unsolicited $54 per share offer from Intel after months of negotiations. Earlier this month, CNBC reported that the two companies had resumed talks about a possible deal.

On Thursday, Avago Technologies agreed to buy Broadcom for $37bn, which is the largest ever merger of chipmakers.

If Intel buys Altera, it would become the biggest acquisition for $160-billion-market-cap Intel, and could help it move away from PC sales into faster-growing sectors like Altera's data center programmable chips.

Both the companies could not be reached immediately for comments outside regular business hours.