LONDON NXP Semiconductors (Eindhoven, the Netherlands) is paying at least $85 million in cash for GloNav Inc. the specialist developer of chips for GPS gear and other satellite navigation systems.
The Dutch group, formerly Philips Semiconductors, could pay an extra $25 million in cash providing GloNav (Newport Beach, Calif.) meets certain revenue and product development targets.
GloNav was formed by the spinout of the GPS business of Ceva Inc. and the acquisition of RFDomus Inc. enabled by $16.2 million of capital from Atlantic Bridge Ventures (Dublin, Ireland). The company has engineering teams in Daventry, England, Dublin and Newport Beach, California.
The fabless chip, although operationally headquartered in Newport Beach, California, has its legal and financial headquarters in Dublin.
The deal gives NXP immediate access to GPS products and technology, and it is the third acquisition by NXP over the past 15 months since it was bought by a private equity group in September 2006. Two of the deal focused on extending the chip maker's reach in mobile communications.
The company bought the cellular communications business of Silicon Laboratories in February for $285 million.
"This is the second major acquisition that we have made this year to strengthen our Mobile and Personal Business Unit that quickly adds complementary technologies to our existing portfolio and meets our customers' demands for innovative products. We are a leader in cellular system solutions. Combining GloNav's GPS expertise with NXPís FM Radio, Bluetooth, USB and NFC leadership, enables us to offer a broader connectivity suite to the mobile phone market," commented Frans van Houten, Chief Executive Officer, NXP Semiconductors.
GloNav has approximately 50 employees who will join NXP's fast growing Mobile and Personal Business Unit.
GloNav has a significant intellectual property portfolio and over 20 years of technology heritage in silicon-based GPS devices. It focuses on single chip assisted GPS silicon and 90nm devices for both personal navigation devices and mobile phones.
Recent market research suggests that by 2010, approximately 40 percent (some 560 million) of mobile phones will be equipped with GPS functionality.
"Becoming part of NXP allows us to achieve the required scale in innovation, and opens up many new markets and customers in order to exploit the significant market potential for GPS. Our engineers are excited to become part of ambitious leadership projects in state-of-the-art technologies and to join their expertise to one of the leaders in cellular system solutions," commented Bill McLean, GloNav's Chief Executive Officer.
The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2008, subject to regulatory approvals.