MUNICH -- Micronas Semiconductor Holding AG of Zurich today announced an agreement to acquire the consumer electronics IC operations of Infineon Technologies AG here for 250 million Euros ($213 million). The move will enable Munich-based Infineon to focus more efforts on core businesses, including communications ICs, according to the company.
For Micronas, the acquisition will further expands its scope in imaging and video ICs for consumer applications. "With this acquisition, Micronas has taken a decisive step forward in its video business," declared Wolfgang Kalsbach, chief executive officer of the company, which in 1999 repositioned its semiconductor business to target home entertainment, multimedia and automotive electronics. "By augmenting our core audio and video operations, we are reinforcing our leadership in the key competencies of the rapidly growing multimedia market," Kalsbach added.
In 1997, Micronas acquired ITT Intermetall GmbH in Freiburg, Germany. The Zurich-based holding company this year began an expansion at the Freiburg facility to increase IC production in the former ITT Intermetall plant (see May 15 story).
According to Micronas, the Infineon image and video consumer IC business had net sales of 135 million Euros ($115 million), in a fiscal year ended Sept. 30. The group has 130 employees in product development and sales.
"The sale of 'Image and Video' is a key step in our strategy, which was announced previously, of focusing on the communications markets," said Ulrich Schumacher, president and CEO of Infineon Technologies, which was spun out of Siemens AG in 1999. "By optimizing our portfolio, we can concentrate more closely on our target segments: optical networking, broadband communication and future mobile communication technologies."
Infineon's image and video chip division sells ICs televisions, video recorders and other consumer applications. Its five product segments cover: teletext and data services (Videotext, closed caption); scan rate conversion (100-Hz, progressive scan, deflection); Picture-in-Picture (PIP); Video Recording Services (VPS/PDC); and digital TV.
The purchase agreement is pending government clearance and, when completed, will be effective Aug. 1, said the two companies. The business was sold through a controlled auction process. Schroder Salomon Smith Barney advised Infineon Technologies, while Micronas used serivces from UBS Warburg.