Rick Hill has never been shy when it comes to corporate takeovers, having helped push a slew of companies onto the auction block over the past several years.
And ever since activist hedge fund Starboard Value purchased a roughly 6.7% stake in semiconductor maker Marvell Technology (MRVL) in February, the hedge fund has been quick to help seat Hill at the head of Marvell's board. Many now view recent management shake-ups at the helm of Marvell -- including the July appointment of former Maxim Integrated (MXIM) vice president Matthew Murphy as CEO -- as indicative that Marvell could be positioning itself for a takeover.
"If Rick Hill gets on, then you're going to buy the stock -- period," Real Money's Jim Cramer told TheStreet just prior to Hill's appointment to the board in May, highlighting Hill's success as chairman and CEO in leading Novellus Systems from 1996 to its $3 billion sale to Lam Research (LRCX) in 2012. Shares of the company have climbed about 31% since Hill's induction to the board.
As an independent director, Hill also managed to help guide LSI Group with its $6.6 billion sale to Avago Technologies (AVGO) , which is now listed as Broadcom, in 2013. Hill also served as a director to Planar Systems throughout its $157 million sale to China's Leyard Optoelectronic, which closed last fall.
Hill's strong track record implies that M&A is certainly on the table for Marvell, Morningstar analyst Abhinav Davuluri told The Deal's Jaewon Kang in a Monday phone interview. And while the chipmaker will most likely remain a standalone firm in short term, it is likely Marvell is having discussions about piecemeal selloffs, he added.