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Question: Hi Chris, I own or thought I owned shares of Verigy LTD a spinoff of Agilent which was spun off of Hewlett Packard. I received a check in the mail for my shares. Verigy LTD was purchased by another company. No letter of explanation, just the check. Is that it? Why can they do this? I know that I should cash the check if I want anything out of this but if I don't cash the check do I have a stake in the future profits of the new company? Why wasn't I offered shares of the company that purchased Verigy LTD? Pretty sure you understand my lack of knowledge about the Market.

I asked the "certified stock person" at my local Banking establishment that took over Wachovia that took over World Savings and that person had no clue to what was going on! Don, Menlo Park, CA

Answer: You have been bought out. You and other shareholders are no longer owners of the company. Take the money.

Here's what happened as i understand it. Japan's Advantest Corp, the world's No. 2 maker of chip-testing equipment, struck a deal to buy a U.S. competitor Verigy for about $1.1 billion. It was an all-cash offer at $15 a share. The price per share represented a premium of about 64 percent to Verigy's closing stock price the day before the deal was announced.

Verigy is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Advantest. The parent company gets all of Verigy's future profits--and losses. .

You could look into Advantest. I don't have any insight into the company, but it's publically traded in both Tokyo and New York. On the New York Stock Exchange its symbol is ATE.

About the author

Chris Farrell is the economics editor of Marketplace Money.

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