LONDON – Dutch chip company NXP Semiconductors NV (Eindhoven, The Netherlands) has agreed to buy electronic design house and IP licensor Catena Holding NV and its subsidiaries for an undisclosed sum. NXP said it plans to put Catena's engineers to work on automotive applications.
Catena (Delft, The Netherlands) has subsidiaries in Austria, Sweden and performs consultancy on IC architecture, circuit design and contract research, as well as IC design, IP development and training with particular emphasis on analog, mixed-signal and wireless technologies. Catena also provides IC design training services. The company also claims to have developed IP in the area of MEMS gyroscopes and accelerometers.
The company claims to have expertise in GSM to 3G cellular, Bluetooth, WiFi and WiMax wireless networking and digital television and radio standards. Catena's customers include: ST-Ericsson, Austriamicrosystems, Intel, Infineon, STMicroelectronics Texas Instruments, Zarlink although NXP is its leading customer, responsible for about 60 percent of Catena's annual sales. Catena was founded in 1986 and in its 2010 financial year made a profit before tax of 9 million euro (about $12 million) on sales revenue of 20 million euro (about $26 million).
After the acquisition NXP will operate Catena as a separate design company. This would give NXP access to Catena's patents, IP and proprietary development tools, while enabling Catena to continue serving third party companies, NXP said.
NXP said it will use Catena's expertise to capitalize on growing demand from car manufacturers for engine emissions reduction and car-to-infrastructure, car-to-car and car-to-driver communication.
Rien Geurtsen, president of Catena Group, said, Catena is a profitable and growing company and an exciting place to work and with NXP's backing it would continue to expand.
"Catena has already made a significant contribution to NXP becoming the number one chip supplier for the global car entertainment market, and so we look forward to many more years of success to come," said Rick Clemmer, president and CEO of NXP Semiconductors, in a statement.
After closing of the deal, Catena will continue to operate as a standalone company, wholly owned by NXP. This setup will allow the Catena team to continue to serve third parties, outside of NXP, as they have successfully done in the past.
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