Imagination steps up MIPS bid to $100m

The bidding war for MIPS is not over yet, with Imagination Technologies countering CEVA's second attempt at a 25-percent premium on last week's offer.
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

The bidding war for the operating business of US chip designer MIPS continues to heat up, with Imagination Technologies upping its bid to $100m.

MIPS designs processors for embedded applications and for mobile devices, such as low-cost Android tablets. Imagination originally said in early November that it would buy MIPS for $60m (£37m), but since then it and the mobile chip firm CEVA have been battling it out over the potential acquisition.

After Imagination bid $80m a week ago, CEVA came back with a $90m offer. Then, on Sunday, Imagination came back with $100m, leading to yet another amendment to the putative takeover agreement.

"As a result of the amendment, the net proceeds to each holder of MIPS common stock, following the consummation of the previously announced proposed patent sale transaction with Bridge Crossing, LLC and proposed recapitalisation, has increased to approximately $7.94 (US) per share in cash," a statement read. "The Merger Agreement is otherwise in full force and effect."

Imagination designs the PowerVR graphics technology that is used in Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch lines, as well as many other mobile devices. CEVA designs DSP cores for mobile and networking equipment.

MIPS, meanwhile, is a competitor to ARM, the British chip architecture firm behind the rest of Apple's system-on-a-chip implementations, and the vast majority of mobile processors in general.

If the deal goes through as planned, Imagination will be buying MIPS's operating business and some of its intellectual property. The remaining 498 of MIPS's 580 patents will go to an industry holding company designed to fend off patent trolls.

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