Tue, Aug. 25, 11:37 AM
- Atmel (NASDAQ:ATML) discloses CEO Steve Laub "agreed to a Board of Directors' request to extend his retirement date to facilitate the completion of an ongoing strategic evaluation process." Laub announced in May he'd be stepping down on Aug. 31.
- Reuters reported in June Atmel is working with i-bank Qatalyst Partners to explore a sale. Before that, FBR called the microcontroller vendor its top semi buyout candidate.
Fri, Jun. 19, 4:43 PM
- Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN) could be gearing up to make the next big deal in what already has been a record-breaking year for M&A in the semiconductor industry, bankers and analysts tell Reuters.
- TXN is said to be looking for large acquisitions, and held talks to acquire Maxim Integrated Products (NASDAQ:MXIM) late last year but the company decided not to sell itself; analysts say TXN also could look at Analog Devices (NASDAQ:ADI), Linear Technology (NASDAQ:LLTC), Microchip Technology (NASDAQ:MCHP), Intersil (NASDAQ:ISIL) and Atmel (NASDAQ:ATML).
- FBR analyst Christopher believes TXN should act by the end of the year while NXP, one of its fastest growing rivals, is tied up awaiting approval for its merger with Freescale Semiconductor; TXN reportedly considered buying Freescale before NXP acquired it in March.
Mon, Jun. 8, 3:59 PM
- Reuters reports Atmel (NASDAQ:ATML) is working with i-bank Qatalyst Partners to explore a sale and other strategic options. Shares have spiked higher.
- FBR called Atmel its top semi buyout candidate last week, while citing the quality of its microcontroller portfolio and the potential for a suitor to significantly improve Atmel's margins by shifting chip production to more modern fabs.
- Speculation that Atmel will be an M&A target have been running high for a while, thanks to CEO Steve Laub's retirement plans and a blizzard of chip industry M&A over the last 18 months (including some involving microcontroller makers such as Cypress and Freescale).
Wed, May 27, 3:00 PM
- Chip stocks are posting outsized gains (SOXX +4%) amid a 1.3% increase for the Nasdaq after the WSJ reported Avago and Broadcom are in advanced merger talks, sparking hopes for further M&A.
- A Broadcom/Avago deal would be worth ~$67B at current valuations, easily making it the largest in the chip industry's breathless consolidation wave. It would also touch markets ranging from smartphones to set-tops to servers to switches/routers.
- Notable gainers include Avago RF chip peers Skyworks (SWKS +4.3%), Qorvo (QRVO +3.2%), and Anadigics (ANAD +4.9%). Others include Micron (MU +3.8%), SanDisk (SNDK +4.3%), NXP (NXPI +3.5%), Silicon Motion (SIMO +8.3%), Cirrus Logic (CRUS +4.8%), STMicroelectronics, (STM +3.4%), Synaptics (SYNA +3.4%), Atmel (ATML +2.8%), Cavium (CAVM +4.5%), Intersil (ISIL +4.6%), Semtech (SMTC +3.9%), ON Semi (ON +3.8%), Microsemi (MSCC +4.4%), and IDT (IDTI +4.2%).
- Non-chipmakers tied to the industry are also doing well. Standouts include ARM (ARMH +4.4%), Amkor (AMKR +4.6%), ASML (ASML +3.1%), and Rambus (RMBS +3.3%).
- Chip ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
Fri, Apr. 17, 9:17 AM
- UniPixel (NASDAQ:UNXL) is acquiring all manufacturing assets related to Atmel's (NASDAQ:ATML) XSense touch sensor ops, a rival to UniPixel's InTouch sensor line, and assuming related costs.
- UniPixel is also taking out a 5-year license (with a 10-year renewal option) on Atmel's XSense patent portfolio and other IP. Atmel will "receive minimum royalties during the initial five year term equal to $16.25 million, of which $9.33 million is being prepaid in cash at close."
- The deal comes two months after Atmel took a $26.6M charge on XSense manufacturing assets, and ahead of Atmel's May 6 Q1 report. It also follows numerous delays by UniPixel in ramping InTouch production.
- UniPixel has soared to $8.55 premarket. Atmel is unchanged.
- Update: UniPixel wound up closing down 6.9% following the news.
Mon, Mar. 2, 1:41 PM
- The Philadelphia Semi Index (SOXX +2.4%) has rallied to new highs after NXP announced it's buying microcontroller, network processor, and RF amplifier supplier Freescale for $16.7B after factoring net cash/debt, the biggest deal yet in the chip industry's ongoing consolidation wave. The Nasdaq is up 0.5%.
- Microcontroller makers are among today's big gainers - NXP/Freescale assert they'll be the world's biggest supplier of general-purpose microcontrollers. Standouts include Atmel (ATML +6%) and STMicroelectronics (STM +3.4%), as well as Cypress (CY +3.1%) and merger partner Spansion (CODE +3.2%).
- Other notable gainers include InvenSense (INVN +3.4%), Ambarella (AMBA +6.3%), Audience (ADNC +5.5%), Cirrus Logic (CRUS +3.7%), Cavium (CAVM +4.2%), ON Semi (ONNN +3.5%), Silicon Motion (SIMO +3.5%), InPhi (IPHI +3.8%), and TowerJazz (TSEM +5.5%).
- With the Mobile World Congress as a backdrop, InvenSense has unveiled a 6-axis SoC that pairs a gyroscope and acceleromoter with a motion processor and related software/algorithms; the company claims 25%-50% better power consumption than rival solutions. It has also launched a software library meant to "provide sensor-assisted positioning in places where GNSS alone cannot provide desired accuracy."
- Cavium has announced its OCTEON Fusion-M processor line for mobile base stations. The chips support up to 16 custom CPU cores running at 2GHz., and are declared by Cavium to enable "Smart Radio Heads" that can adapt to network conditions. They begin sampling in Q3.
- Chip ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
- Previously: Chip product launches: ARMH, EZCH, BRCM, NXPI, XLNX, IDTI
Jul. 7, 2014, 10:41 AM
- Atmel (ATML -1.1%) is acquiring Newport Media, a maker of TV broadcast and Wi-Fi/Bluetooth chips, for $140M in cash + up to $30M in performance earn-outs over the next 2 years.
- With NMI having posted 2013 sales of $43M, Atmel is paying 3.3x-4x trailing sales. The deal will be financed with a mixture of cash on hand and credit facility borrowings, and is expected to become accretive in 2H15.
- Atmel declares Newport's low-power Wi-Fi and Bluetooth ICs complement Atmel's microcontrollers, and suggests they're well-suited for embedded/wearables applications (i.e. the proverbial Internet of Things) requiring small form factors and low power draw.
- Broadcom, CSR, and Qualcomm's Atheros unit are among the key players in the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth IC market. Microchip recently bought Taiwanese Bluetooth chipmaker ISSC; Apple bought low-power Bluetooth chipmaker Passif Semi last year.
Jun. 17, 2014, 6:58 PM
- The consolidation wave that has hit the semi industry could soon yield tax inversion deals for foreign firms similar to deals seen in the healthcare industry, says FBR's Christopher Rolland.
- Inversion deals allow U.S. companies buying foreign firms to see lower tax rates if less than 80% of the equity in the new company is owned by legacy U.S. shareholders, and the post-merger company has substantial foreign ops.
- Rolland thinks ARM (ARMH), NXP (NXPI), Mellanox (MLNX), and Taiwan's MediaTek could be among the foreign companies targeted by U.S. chipmakers. Worth noting: Mellanox sells more than just chips, and ARM's business model depends on the company maintaining a neutral status within the industry.
- Meanwhile, Nomura's Romit Shah names 15 potential M&A candidates, and divides them into 3 groups: "Sub-scale companies" with high margins and strong IP; "strategic companies" with compelling product lines; and "undervalued companies."
- Shah's "sub-scale companies:" IDTI, ISIL, MTSI, MCRL, SMTC, SLAB.
- "Strategic companies:" ALTR, AMCC, ATML, CAVM, MPWR, BRCM ($22.5B market cap could make it tough to digest).
- "Undervalued companies:" DIOD, IRF, MSCC.
Jun. 9, 2014, 10:36 AM
- A slew of chip stocks are rallying following Analog Devices' (ADI +5.9%) $2B deal to acquire RFIC vendor Hittite Microwave.
- The purchase is part of an M&A wave that has hit the semiconductor industry over the last 12 months, as chipmakers try to gain scale, cut opex, and grow their cross-selling opportunities by consolidating. Other deals: RF Micro/TriQuint, Avago/LSI, Microchip/ISSC.
- ADI, which shares many telecom equipment, defense/aerospace, and automotive clients with Hittite, predicts Hittite's RF, microwave, and millimeter wave ICs will complement its RF and signal-conversion (ADC/DAC) products.
- Several RF and analog/mixed signal chipmakers are higher, but they're not the only gainers: RFMD +1.8%. TQNT +1.8%. PSMI +2.5%. LLTC +1.6%. MSCC +2.1%. IDTI +3.8%. ATML +3.4%. IRF +1.4%. SIGM +3.9%. AMCC +3.8%.
- Chip ETFs: SOXX, SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
Dec. 20, 2012, 9:20 AMAtmel (ATML) tries to tap a growth market by acquiring Ozmo, a developer of ultra-low-power Wi-Fi chips for the proverbial "Internet of things." Ozmo doesn't directly compete with Wi-Fi leaders such as Broadcom, Intel, and Qualcomm, but instead focuses on embedded devices such as speakers, thermostats, and remote controls, where low power consumption and small size are at a premium. Atmel notes Ozmo is a leader in Wi-Fi Direct solutions, which are expected to show a 100% CAGR through 2015. | Dec. 20, 2012, 9:20 AM | 3 Comments
May 2, 2012, 2:02 PMMicrochip (MCHP -0.7%) is only off slightly following its deal to acquire fellow microcontroller vendor Standard Microsystems (SMSC +38.4%). Likely helping is Microchip's forecast the deal will be accretive in its first full quarter after completion. Capstone's Jeff Schreiner thinks Microchip may be trying to strengthen its position in the growing automotive microcontroller market. Rivals Atmel (ATML +1.6%) and Freescale (FSL +1.8%) are rallying a little. | May 2, 2012, 2:02 PM | Comment!
May 11, 2011, 3:14 PMFBR Capital considers recent chip deals for Atheros (ATHR) and National Semi (NSM) a "solid start for tech M&A," citing SLAB, ATML, FCS, IRF, MXIM, ADI, LLTC and ISIL as potential takeover targets. Given techs' increasing confidence about the economy and that balance sheets are flush with cash, "more M&A activity could be on the come." | May 11, 2011, 3:14 PM | Comment!
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