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By Robin Wauters

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is nearly tripling its stake in UK-based Imagination Technologies, boosting its interest to 9.5 percent with the purchase of 2.2 million new shares at £1.4275 ($2.35 million) each - the mid market close price on 25 June - and another 11.52 million shares.

In total, Apple is spending £3.14 million (approx. $5.17 million) for the new shares, exactly the same amount it paid last December when it purchased a 3.6 percent stake in the microchip maker.

Imagination Technologies is a two-division company: its ‘Technology’ arm is an IP licensing business providing multimedia capabilities for SoC devices (embedded graphics, video and display acceleration, multi-threaded processing, etc.), while its ‘PURE Digital’ division uses proprietary technologies as a differentiator in its consumer products, which include some of the world’s most popular DAB digital radios. Imagination also boasts PURE to be the number one supplier of radios in the UK.

Earlier this week, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) had also increased its stake to 16.02% by buying nearly 5 million shares, a week after snapping up 25 million shares to take its shareholding to 13%.

It is believed that the increased stakes of both Apple and Intel are a direct result of the fact that Saudi group Saad was recently forced to cut back its stake in Imagination after its accounts were frozen by the Saudi central bank. Reuters says nearly 10 million shares in Imagination changed hands on Wednesday at 150 pence each, with Saad to be the likely seller.

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Source: Apple Nearly Triples Stake in U.K. Chip Maker Imagination Technologies