LONDON – Fabless RF chip vendor Peregrine Semiconductor Corp. (San Diego, Calif.) has announced that its initial public offering of 5.5 million shares in the company has been priced at $14. The shares are expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq Global Market on Aug. 8, 2012, under the ticker symbol PSMI.
Peregrine, founded in 1990, has been trying to get an IPO away for some time. It filed for a $100 million IPO in 2010. The 5.5 million shares being sold represent about 18 percent of the equity in the company valuing the company about $428 million.
Of the 5,500,000 shares being offered, 5,340,780 are being offered by Peregrine and 159,220 shares are being offered by certain selling stockholders.
Peregrine devises chips based on silicon-on-sapphire technology called UltraCMOS. Silicon-on-sapphire is a form of silicon-on-insulator (SOI) formed by depositing a thin layer of silicon onto an insulating sapphire wafer. This is said to have advantages over bulk silicon and gallium arsenide in RF applications. The company claims to have shipped over one billion RF ICs based on the UltraCMOS technology since Jan. 1, 2006.
However, while sales are climbing strongly the company has not been profitable recently. In the year ended Dec. 31, 2011 Peregrine made a net loss of $9.7 million on net revenue of $107.8 million, the company stated in an SEC filing. For the six months ended June 30, 2012, the company made a net loss of $3.1 million on net revenue of $80.3 million. As of June 30, 2012, the company has an accumulated deficit of $231.3 million, the company stated.
Peregrine is a has-been in the fabless RF semicon industry. While their Si-on-Sapphire technology has some merits for military and space applications, there are few merits for its use in the wireless mobile terminal markets. What's their big products? Switches and hard to compete with the brutally razor thin margins and the likes of Skyworks (especially with their CMOS and SiGe competencies), Triquint, RFMD, etc. Their time has come and gone...
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