LONDON Fabless communications chip company Broadcom Corp. has announced that it has agreed to buy Innovision Research & Technology plc, a pioneer of RFID and NFC circuits and intellectual property, for $47.5 million in cash.
The deal has been agreed with the board of directors of Innovision (Cirencester, England) and the offer for all the outstanding shares in the publicly listed company is being made through Broadcom International Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Broadcom Corp. (San Diego, Calif.).
NFC technology, which is based on the RF-energized tag technology known as RFID, has for some time been touted as a means of making electronic micropayments. Although standardization and deployment issues have slowed acceptance of the technology it is thought to now be on the verge of a general roll-out within mobile phones.
Innovision has made its technology available through licensed IP and it lies at the heart of a number of companies NFC controller ICs. Companies are now looking to add NFC IP into their connectivity combo chips that sweep up multiple secondary radios including Bluetooth, WiFi, FM radio and GPS. This can reduce costs from about $5 for a separate NFC controller to less than $1 for NFC included on a combo chip.
Under the terms of the offer, Innovision shareholders will receive 35 pence (about $0.52) per share in cash for each Innovision share held, representing a total equity value of approximately $47.5 million based on current exchange rates. The offer represents a 84.2 percent premium above the closing price of Innovision common stock on Thursday June 17, 2010. Broadcom said it expects to close the acquisition of Innovision in the third quarter of 2010.
Innovision also announced its financial results for the year ended March 31, 2010. The company made a net loss of £2,4 million (about $3.5 million) on sales revenue of £2.0 million (about $3.0 million). During the year approximately £2.3 million (about $3.4 million) was spent on developing Near Field Communications IP. Cash deposits as at 31 March 2010 of approximately £4.1 million (about $6.1 million).
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