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Microsemi goes on a buying spree

Posted: 22 Jul 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:acquisition? millimeter-wave? mixed-signal IC?

Microsemi Corp. has announced that it has acquired the millimeter-wave technology and related assets of Brijot Imaging Systems Inc. The specific terms of the transaction was not disclosed.

Brijot Imaging Systems was founded in 2004 and provides millimeter wave concealed object-detection and people-screening systems. It offers its products in Asia, the U.S., the Middle East, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, the Russian Federation, and other CIS regions.

Microsemi plans to combine its existing millimeter-wave technology to Brijot's technology. This, according to Microsemi, will help the company lead the passive millimeter wave imaging market. The particular market segment plays a key role in detection of weapons and contraband in airports, military branches, and government and law enforcement agencies.

"This acquisition strengthens Microsemi's millimeter-wave technology offering in the 70C100GHz range," said David Hall, vice president of Microsemi's RFIS group, in a statement. "The high quality products engineered by Brijot complement our product portfolio."

Plans to buy Zarlink
Microsemi has also revealed that it has offered to buy Zarlink Semiconductor Inc. for $548.7 million. The company's two previous offers were already rejected by Zarlink.

According to Microsemi, the latest cash offer of C$3.35 per share is worth $548.7 million based on a fully diluted share count and represents a 40 percent premium to Zarlink's share price as of July 19, 2011. It also represents a 43 percent premium to Zarlink's trailing 30 day average share price.

Microsemi said it has sent a letter to Zarlink's board of directors setting out its latest proposal, after several earlier attempts to engage in discussions.

"We remain interested in engaging with Zarlink's board to complete a transaction that delivers value to shareholders," said James Peterson, Microsemi president and CEO, in a statement. "We are committed to building and strengthening its business, and believe our proposal provides a superior outcome for Zarlink's shareholders, employees, customers, and the local economy, he added."

Zarlink recently appointed Gary Tanner to lead the company as CEO and reported fourth fiscal quarter revenue of $54.8 million, at the high end of $51.0 million and $55.0 million guidance range. On that revenue the company made a net income of $17.0 million.

Microsemi joins FPGA fray with Actel acquisition
Some were surprised by Microsemi's Actel acquisition because analog and FPGAs are completely different markets. Read more of the story here.

Microsemi Corp. has been on a buying binge for some time. It recently acquired ASIC Advantage, a mixed-signal IC company that specializes in high-voltage and radiation tolerant applications. Earlier this year, it bought AML Communications, a provider of microwave amplifiers and subsystems for defense electronics applications.

Last year Microsemi bought rival Actel, the number three FPGA IC company in market share, for some $430 million and subsequently pared down duplicity in product lines and organization. And prior to that it had acquired Arxan Defense Systems and VT Silicon.

All the acquisitions seem to be in line with Microsemi's stated goal of being a hi-rel semiconductor provider. The markets the company serves include defense and security (35 percent); aerospace (26 percent); industrial and alternate energy (21 percent) and enterprise and commercial (18 percent). It has contracts with all prime tier 1 defense contractors and claims 100 percent of the electronics content in whole body scanners used in security systems worldwide.

Nicolas Mokhoff & Peter Clarke
??EE Times

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