Here's what could be holding up one of the biggest tech M&A deals of 2015

Mime frenchReutersFrench mime Marcel Marceau holds his head during a show called ‘Le Chapeau Melon’ (bowler hat) which will run from November 20 to January 11.

There still could be a huge deal brewing in the tech sector. It looks like there’s one big sticking point holding up the deal, though — French regulators.

The New York Post ran a scoop this morning saying Intel is still working on a bid for French semiconductor company Altera. This, after a Reuters report saying Intel has an option to go hostile, beginning June 1.

One banker, who is not working on the deal, told Business Insider a potential sticking point in the deal are French regulators. He said they would prefer a strategic investor buy Altera, instead of a private equity firm.

With a $US15 billion price tag, an Altera transaction would represent one of the year’s largest M&A deals. The banker said it isn’t even clear if private equity can put the debt financing together to buy Altera, but that hasn’t stopped some investors from inquiring.

If negotiations go past June 1, however, it’s probably likely private equity can be counted out. But if Intel goes hostile, it will probably need to spend more than $US54 a share to get its big buyout completed.

The Post’s report said Intel backed away from the transaction at a price tag of $US54 a share. Reuters, on the other hand, quotes sources saying Altera was the company that balked at the $US54 a share number.

Some investors have expressed a bullish sentiment for Europe, which, through central banks’ quantitative easing, is expected to see an uptick in productivity after a lengthy post-crisis slowdown. If Intel does buy Altera, it wouldn’t be its first deal in Europe in 2015.

What is for sure, is that the market is taking the Post’s report seriously, and Altera shares are up about seven per cent heading into the open Friday morning.

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