SAN FRANCISCO—Sigma Designs Inc. said Wednesday (March 21) it signed an asset purchase agreement to serve as a "stalking horse" bidder to acquire assets of Trident Microsystems Inc.'s digital television (DTV) chip business, including products, licensed intellectual property, software and leased facilities, for $21 million in cash.
Under the terms of the deal, Sigma (Milpitas, Calif.) would also assume certain of Trident's liabilities, the company said.
Trident filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January. Sigma's bid for Trident's DTV business is subject to a bidding and auction process in accordance with U.S. bankruptcy laws. The potential auction and final sale hearing for the Trident DTV assets is expected to be held within the next several weeks, Sigma said.
Sigma said it expects to make employment offers to some employees of Trident's DTV business, most of whom are located in China. If Sigma is selected as the winning bidder at the auction, the company expects that the transaction would close in the second quarter.
Sigma's bid for Trident's DTV business comes after 2011 saw many Western semiconductor companies, including Broadcom Corp., Intel Corp. and CSR plc, exit the DTV chip business due to escalating competition from the likes of Taiwan's MediaTek Inc. and MStar Semiconductor Inc. and a host of smaller firms based in China.
Sigma said the acquisition would expand its business through the addition of Trident's DTV media processor SoCs for next-generation Internet-enabled digital televisions. Much of Trident's DTV business came from its 2009 acquisition of Micronas Inc.