CSR Soars After Rejecting Offer From Microchip Technology

Aug 28, 2014 7:17 am ET

(Updates shares in fifth paragraph.)

Aug. 28 (Bloomberg) -- CSR Plc, a U.K. chipmaker that pioneered Bluetooth wireless technology, is “considering its options” after rejecting a bid from Microchip Technology Inc. The shares jumped as much as 39 percent.

The company turned down the price proposed by chipmaker Microchip Technology, Cambridge, England-based CSR said in a statement today. Microchip must say whether it wants to pursue a transaction by Sept. 25 under U.K. takeover rules, according to the statement.

CSR, whose products are used in smartphones, cars and personal navigation devices, is benefiting as more devices connect to each other using Bluetooth and other technologies, Chief Executive Officer Joep van Beurden said last year. Dealmaking in the semiconductor industry has picked up this year, with Infineon Technologies AG last week agreeing to buy International Rectifier Corp. for about $3 billion.

CSR, whose stock had lost 9 percent this year before today, could be sold for as much as $3 billion, the FT reported. The U.K. chipmaker has hired banks to advise on a potential transaction, according to the report.

CSR shares rose as much 225 pence to 800 pence, the biggest intraday gain since July 2012. The stock was up 36 percent at 782.5 pence as of 12:12 p.m. in London, giving CSR a market value of about 1.3 billion pounds ($2.2 billion). Chandler, Arizona-based Microchip closed 0.3 percent lower at $47.66 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading yesterday.

Paul Sharma, a spokesman for CSR, declined to comment beyond today’s statement. Representatives for Microchip Technology didn’t immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment before usual U.S. business hours.

Microchip’s Acquisitions

CSR was looking for small acquisitions to boost its prowess in mapping, voice recognition and other areas, Van Beurden said last year. The company was also working on location technology to use indoors in spaces such as shopping malls, airports and hospitals, he said at the time. The company sold its wireless unit to Samsung Electronics Co. in 2012 for $310 million in cash. Samsung also purchased a 5 percent stake in CSR at the time of the deal.

Microchip Technology, whose customers include Hewlett- Packard Co., Siemens AG and Apple Inc., has announced acquisitions including ISSC Technologies Corp. and Supertex Inc. this year.