Finance / Imagination Technologies up for sale amid dispute with Apple

Imagination Technologies up for sale amid dispute with Apple

British chip maker Imagination Technologies has put itself up for sale, weeks after it launched a formal dispute against Apple when the iPhone maker said it will no longer use the firm's products.

Imagination said on Thursday that it has received interest from a number of parties over the last few weeks for a potential acquisition.

As a result, the board has decided to initiate a "formal sale process" and is engaged in preliminary discussions with potential bidders.

Shares in Imagination plummeted more than 60% in April after it revealed that Apple will no longer use its products, meaning it will no longer be eligible for royalty payments.

Apple's royalty payments and licence fees brought in £60.7 million in revenues in the year to April 30, accounting for half of Imagination's total sales.

The Hertfordshire-based group responded by launching a formal dispute against the US tech giant.

It is concerned that Apple’s plans to replace Imagination’s intellectual property – used in the graphics processor units for phones, tablets, iPods and TVs – with its own technology risks violating the company’s patents.

“Imagination remains in dispute with Apple,” the company said.

Imagination is working with Rothschild on the sale process.

Separately, Imagination put its MIPS and Ensigma operations up for sale in May, with the firm saying the process is progressing well and indicative proposals have been received for both businesses.

Shares in Imagination soared 18% in morning trading to 146.25p.

Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital, said: “It was never going to be easy for Imagination Technologies when it lost its biggest customer, and efforts to offload two of its three main businesses – MIPS and Ensigma – in a bid to strengthen the balance sheet clearly weren’t enough.

“That was a pretty dire scenario, akin to selling off the family silver to keep the estate going a little longer.

“Now the shutters are up and a buyer sought. A pretty ignominious end to what was a great British tech success story.”

PA Wire


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