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Chipmaker PMC-Sierra taps Qatalyst to pursue sale-sources

(Adds name of investment bank, new sourcing)

By Liana B. Baker

Oct 1 (Reuters) - Chipmaker PMC-Sierra Inc is looking to sell itself and has hired financial adviser Qatalyst Partners to assist in the process, according to people familiar with the matter.

The sales process is in its early stages and the company's plans could still change, the people said, asking not to be named because the matter is private.

Representatives for Qatalyst and PMC-Sierra were not immediately available for comment.

Shares of PMC-Sierra, which has a market value of about $1.3 billion, rose 7 percent after Bloomberg first reported the news Thursday. Shares then reversed and were down 6.6 percent at $6.77 in extended trading on Thursday.

Santa Clara, California-based PMC-Sierra designs semiconductor equipment and develops software solutions for enterprises, cloud data centers and telecom carriers worldwide.

Taiwan's MediaTek Inc and other companies looking to enter the solid state drives (SSD) market could be eyeing PMC-Sierra, Nomura Securities said in a research note on Thursday.

Semiconductor dealmaking has reached more than $80 billion so far this year, already surpassing every full year on record, with the exception of 2000, when M&A in the sector hit $115.5 billion.

Qatalyst also advised Atmel Corp on its recent $4.6 billion sale to Dialog Semiconductor Plc.

(Additional reporting by Rachel Chitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Diane Craft)