Skyworks, Panasonic forming RF filter JV; Avago moves lower

|About: Skyworks Solutions, Inc. (SWKS)|By:, SA News Editor

Skyworks (SWKS - unchanged) and Panasonic (PCRFY) are forming a JV to develop SAW filters for mobile devices and other products.

Skyworks will pay $148.5M in cash for a 66% stake in the JV, which will be have 590 employees and facilities in Japan and Singapore. The deal is expected to close by the end of calendar Q3, and be immediately accretive to margins and EPS.

Rival Avago (AVGO -1.4%) is trading lower. Avago has differentiated its RF modules (particularly for 4G designs) partly through the use of FBAR filters (a type of BAW filter) offering better performance than SAW alternatives

Morgan Stanley estimated last fall Avago has a ~70% share of the premium filter market, and predicted the market will grow to $1.75B in 2015 from slightly over $800M in 2013. TriQuint (TQNT -0.2%), about to merge with RF Micro (RFMD +0.8%), was estimated to have the remaining 30%.

Skyworks asserts the JV is complementary to its ongoing BAW filter investments, and that Panasonic is the leader in the growing market for high-performance TC SAW filters - typically more expensive than traditional SAW filters, but cheaper than BAW filters. The company predicts the deal will allow it to "develop customized solutions for any band configuration where filter technology is applicable."