Samsung buys wireless technology unit of chipmaker CSR for $310m, takes additional 4.9% stake

Samsung buys wireless technology unit of chipmaker CSR for $310m, takes additional 4.9% stake

Smartphone and tablet maker Samsung Electronics is acquiring the wireless technology business of CSR, a publicly-listed UK fabless semiconductor company that specializes in single-chip Bluetooth solutions.

Samsung Electronics paid $310 million in cash in a deal that could significantly expand its patent portfolio. More specifically, CSR sold its handset connectivity and location development operations as well as all related technologies, and will transfer 310 people to the South Korean electronics giant.

CSR’s existing handset connectivity and handset location products are not included in the deal, however.

Under the terms of the agreement, Samsung was granted a “world-wide, perpetual, royalty-free, non-exclusive license” of CSR’s intellectual property rights used in those handset connectivity and location products, while Samsung was also transferred 21 patents (which will be licensed back to CSR).

CSR says it plans to return as much as $285 million to shareholders after the deal closes, which is expected at the end of this year, via tender offer.

Samsung has also invested an additional $34.4 million in CSR by taking a 4.9 percent stake in the chipmaker.

CSR announced in a separate release the appointment of Chris Stone to its board of director. Stone previously served as CEO of Northgate, which was sold to private equity firm KKR for £1 billion ($1.57 billion today) in 2007.

CSR was founded in 1999 from expertise within Cambridge Consultants and raised $84 million in funding from 3i, Intel and Sony before their March 2004 IPO on the London Stock Exchange.

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