Brit chip biz CSR rebuffs US takeover bid from Microchip Technologies

Bluetooth firms suggest a pairing, but it's not going smoothly


Fabless Bluetooth chip firm CSR, the second biggest chip design company in Cambridge, has rebuffed a takeover bid by customer and partner Microchip Technology.

The failed bid has trigged another round of CSR thinking about putting itself up for sale, and given its history of a roller-coaster share price, now might be a very good time to do so.

CSR was once the world’s biggest supplier of Bluetooth chips but as its customers' market shares declined – particularly Nokia's – its sales, share and stock market status sank.

The Financial Times reports that part of Microchip Technology’s interest would be down to the tax benefits of owning a business outside the US, and suggests that this would make CSR worth around $2.7bn.

CSR dominates the Bluetooth industry and has been a major contributor to the standards bodies. It looks likely that the latest CSR Mesh will be absorbed into the mix.

There is huge growth potential for CSR off the back of the trendy Internet of Things space, and the Google $3.2bn purchase of Nest has laid down a marker in that market sector.

CSR put out a press release saying: "JP Morgan has been appointed to look at a number of bids for CSR; an offer from Microchip has been rejected; and that under legal requirements Microchip has until September 25th to either make a revised offer or announce that it is no longer interested."

CSR’s shares have recently shot up by a massive 30 per cent on the Microchip Technology news.

While the jury is still out on wearables, CSR is well placed to capitalise on both the fashion and the utility of the Internet of Things space. It recently released an SDK for the CSRmesh which includes development boards and a USB programmer. The SDK comes with software that supports networked lighting applications, with updates for home automation and other IoT applications based on CSRmesh due later in the year. The kit costs $299.

It looks likely that CSR will be sold, albeit not necessarily to Microchip. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Battlefield 2042: Please don't be the death knell of the franchise, please don't be the death knell of the franchise

    Another terrible launch, but DICE is already working on improvements

    The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. Since the last edition on New World, we hit level cap and the "endgame". Around this time, item duping exploits became rife and every attempt Amazon Games made to fix it just broke something else. The post-level 60 "watermark" system for gear drops is also infuriating and tedious, but not something we were able to address in the column. So bear these things in mind if you were ever tempted. On that note, it's time to look at another newly released shit show – Battlefield 2042.

    I wanted to love Battlefield 2042, I really did. After the bum note of the first-person shooter (FPS) franchise's return to Second World War theatres with Battlefield V (2018), I stupidly assumed the next entry from EA-owned Swedish developer DICE would be a return to form. I was wrong.

    The multiplayer military FPS market is dominated by two forces: Activision's Call of Duty (COD) series and EA's Battlefield. Fans of each franchise are loyal to the point of zealotry with little crossover between player bases. Here's where I stand: COD jumped the shark with Modern Warfare 2 in 2009. It's flip-flopped from WW2 to present-day combat and back again, tried sci-fi, and even the Battle Royale trend with the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone (2020), which has been thoroughly ruined by hackers and developer inaction.

    Continue reading
  • American diplomats' iPhones reportedly compromised by NSO Group intrusion software

    Reuters claims nine State Department employees outside the US had their devices hacked

    The Apple iPhones of at least nine US State Department officials were compromised by an unidentified entity using NSO Group's Pegasus spyware, according to a report published Friday by Reuters.

    NSO Group in an email to The Register said it has blocked an unnamed customers' access to its system upon receiving an inquiry about the incident but has yet to confirm whether its software was involved.

    "Once the inquiry was received, and before any investigation under our compliance policy, we have decided to immediately terminate relevant customers’ access to the system, due to the severity of the allegations," an NSO spokesperson told The Register in an email. "To this point, we haven’t received any information nor the phone numbers, nor any indication that NSO’s tools were used in this case."

    Continue reading
  • Utility biz Delta-Montrose Electric Association loses billing capability and two decades of records after cyber attack

    All together now - R, A, N, S, O...

    A US utility company based in Colorado was hit by a ransomware attack in November that wiped out two decades' worth of records and knocked out billing systems that won't be restored until next week at the earliest.

    The attack was detailed by the Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) in a post on its website explaining that current customers won't be penalised for being unable to pay their bills because of the incident.

    "We are a victim of a malicious cyber security attack. In the middle of an investigation, that is as far as I’m willing to go," DMEA chief exec Alyssa Clemsen Roberts told a public board meeting, as reported by a local paper.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021