Qualcomm to acquire British chipmaker CSR for £1.56 bn

Saqib Shah
October 15, 2014

US processor manufacturer Qualcomm has agreed upon a £1.56 billion takeover of fellow chipmaker CSR.

The UK firm gave the buyout the thumbs up a mere two months after it was approached with a bid from Microchip Technology. At the time, CSR rejected Microchip claiming that it’s undisclosed offer undervalued the firm.

The Cambridge-based CSR is known for making processors for Bluetooth-enabled devices. One of its most high-profile clients is the Apple-owned headphones brand Beats Electronics.

The dawn of machine-to-machine connections and the Internet of Things (IoT) has benefited the UK firm, with more of its third-party devices connecting with other products, such as cars and smartphones.

CSR's Bluetooth tech can be found in Beats headphones

CSR’s Bluettoth tech can be found in Beats headphones

Ron Mackintosh, CSR’s Chairman, said: “The CSR directors believe the acquisition recognises CSR’s long term prospects and growth potential, and takes into account the dynamics of the global market and the competitive landscape in which it operates.”

As a result of the buyout, Qualcomm – the world’s biggest processor manufacturer – will gain access to even more devices. It is thought that Qualcomm will incorporate CSR’s bluetooth technology into its in-car entertainment, audio and wearable devices.

Steven Mollenkopf, Chief Executive of Qualcomm, said: “We look forward to working with the innovative CSR team globally and further strengthening our technology presence in Cambridge and the UK.”

In recent years, CSR (formerly known as Cambridge Silicon Radio) has been selling off the declining parts of its business portfolio. In 2012, the company sold off its wireless unit to Samsung for $310 million (£195 mn).

About the Author

Saqib Shah

Tech/gaming journalist for What Mobile magazine and website. Interests include film, digital media and foreign affairs.

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