LONDON The appointment of Rick Clemmer, to lead NXP BV, replacing technologist Frans van Houten, inevitably led to speculation that Clemmer was being put in place to asset-strip the company on behalf the private equity ownership team led by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Company.
Nine months on and those concerns are still present as Clemmer talks about a smaller and more focused NXP. How much smaller can NXP go in an industry where scale and critical mass has always been significant? How much more can be chopped off the once-great company before the whole thing flies apart?
The latest NXP deal and they are coming thick and fast now again challenges observers to determine the difference between hollowing out and re-organization. NXP plans to transfer a chunk of its CMOS, mixed-signal and system-on-chip intellectual property rights and more than 160 staff to Virage Logic Corp. (Fremont, Calif.), which will set up in Eindhoven.
We can remember when SoC intellectual property and platforms, such as Nexperia, were the very core of what Philips Semiconductors and NXP were about; no longer, it would seem.
In return for handing over the IP NXP gets 2.5 million shares in Virage Logic, which with Virage stock valued at $5.71 over the weekend, is only just over $14 million and does not give NXP a significant stake in the company. Meanwhile Virage is on an
acquisition roll as it is in the process of taking over ARC International plc.