Imagination ups MIPS bid in embedded processor takeover battle

The British chip designer has increased its offer for MIPS's operating business and selected intellectual property to $80m, so as to ward off competition from CEVA.
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

The UK's Imagination Technologies is back on track to buy the operating business and some intellectual property of US chip designer MIPS, whose architecture is found in a variety of embedded systems.

Imagination had already said in early November that it would spend $60m (£37m) on the deal, only for mobile chip firm CEVA to step in with a counterbid of $75m. Imagination weighed back in on Sunday with a revised offer of $80m and certain amendments to regulatory terms, and on Monday announced it had signed a revised agreement with MIPS.

Imagination is best known for its PowerVR graphics technology, which is frequently used in mobile devices and embedded systems. MIPS-based processors have powered all kinds of devices over the years, ranging from the PlayStation 2 to supercomputers, but are these days most frequently found in digital televisions and set-top boxes, including those running Android.

The package on offer includes MIPS's operating business, certain MIPS patents and licensing rights for the remaining patents.

According to Imagination's Monday statement, MIPS's processor licensing business generated $60m in revenues in the year to 30 June, albeit with a pre-tax loss of $9m.

In its statement on Sunday, MIPS said Imaginations amended offer "provides for an increased purchase price of $80 million and the removal of the conditions to closing requiring the approval of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and that MIPS is not a real property holding corporation".

There was no mention in Imagination's Monday statement of any other changes to the material terms and conditions of the original offer, apart from the increased price.

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