Brit chip design company Imagination Tech sold to China-linked private equity


That money has been committed by Canyon Bridge's initial anchor limited partner, Yitai Capital, a Hong Kong-based investment company that can be traced back to a Chinese state-owned enterprise.

British chip designer Imagination Technologies Group has sold itself to China-aligned private equity outfit Canyon Bridge. "Imagination has made excellent progress both operationally and financially over the last 18 months until Apple's unsubstantiated assertions and the subsequent dispute forced us to change course", said Chief Executive Officer Andrew Heath in a statement.

The all-cash 550 million pounds ($742.5 million) deal to buy Imagination Technologies is a clear sign that Canyon Bridge is continuing to pursue Western chip makers after its $1.3 billion deal to buy Lattice Semiconductor Corp in the United States was blocked over USA natural security concerns. The 182p per share offer is a premium of 42p to its price the day before the offer was announced.

Imagination's graphics chip technology is at the heart of many mobile devices but the company was dealt a crippling blow in April of this year when Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) said it planned to stop using Imagination's intellectual property in its products, as it had developed its own graphics intellectual property that it claimed was even better than Imagination's.

And 81 days later, the company announced it was for sale-turning it into a symbol of how Apple can make or break the its suppliers' economic future.

The deal agreed with Canyon Bridge excludes Imagination's United States unit MIPS, which is being sold to Tallwood Venture Capital, a Palo Alto-based investment group, for $65m.

The sale of the MIPS processor business has been agreed at $65 million in cash and is expected to close in October. Trump's September 14 veto followed a negative report from CFIUS on Canyon Bridge's attempt to pay $1.3 billion for Lattice Semiconductor, a chip maker based in Hillsboro, Oregon.

Imagination's potential new owners have no plans to make any changes to its staffing, according to the statement, and will maintain the United Kingdom headquarters.