LONDON – Parrot SA, a vendor of components for mobile phones, has announced it has acquired DiBcom SA, a fabless vendor of mobile digital television ICs.
Parrot (Paris, France) is a public company that trades on the Euronext market. It did not disclose how much it was paying for DiBcom but in an earlier announcement posted by DiBcom and dated July 2011 the then pending deal was said to consist of 15.9 million euro (about $22 million) to purchase share capital and 12 million euro (about $16.5 million) to buy back debt that was in the form of convertible bonds, or about $38.5 million in total. DiBcom had raised more than $50 million in multiple venture capital rounds since its formation in 2000.
Parrot acquired another mobile phone technology company, Varioptic SA (Lyon, France), in May 2011. Varioptic is a vendor of liquid lens for mobile phone cameras.
DiBcom develops chipsets to receive mobile digital television and radio to such standards as DVB-T, ISDB-T, ATSC, CMMB, using a programmable DSP core. The company has design wins in vehicles from Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and Volvo.
In July DiBcom forecast it would have 2011 revenues of about 15 million euro (about $20 million) and a gross margin of approximately 45 percent.
"DiBcom today has an advanced technology that is particularly well suited to the automotive industry. This acquisition is in line with Parrot's strategy, aiming to have a suite of innovative infotainment and multimedia connectivity solutions covering the promising operational scenarios we have identified," said Henri Seydoux, Parrot's founder, chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement. "It is intended to accelerate and supplement the R&D work carried out since 2010, create value for our OEM and retail clients, and further strengthen our presence in relation to auto manufacturers. With DiBcom, Parrot is able to harness a further competitive advantage in order to sustainably move forward with its growth strategy."
Is it a trend for equipment vendor to own its IC technology? As an engineer, I appreciate such move and believe this can help the equipment designer/manufacturer to stay innovative and be able to compete with stronger ability. However, managing the two type of companies may be totally another story. It may be tough for people at higher level (product) to understand what is going on at lower level (IC).
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