Imagination looks for buyer following Apple spat - Mobile World Live

Imagination looks for buyer following Apple spat

22 JUN 2017

Graphics technology company Imagination Technologies put itself up for sale, shortly after it announced plans to shed some of its businesses and revealed it is in a dispute with Apple – its largest customer – over licensing.

In a statement, Imagination said: “over the last few weeks it has received interest from a number of parties for a potential acquisition of the whole group”.

Earlier this year, Imagination said Apple had revealed a plan to develop its own graphics technology to replace the tech it licenced from the UK-headquartered company, and would therefore end its agreement in the next 15 to 24 months.

Imagination argued it would be “extremely challenging” for Apple to develop its own technology without infringing Imagination’s intellectual property rights (IPR), and Apple had declined to provide supporting information. It subsequently said it had started a dispute resolution procedure under the existing licensing agreement.

The company also announced plans to sell its MIPS and Ensigma businesses.

MIPS is focused on embedded processors for markets including networking, routers and set-top boxes. Ensigma offers IP licensing for connectivity in mobile computing, unmanned systems and IoT.

The two together, Imagination said, have complementary capabilities in low power, connected devices.

However, observers noted these units provide a potential growth driver for Imagination, and the sale was a move to stabilise its business in the face of the Apple loss rather than being made for strategic reasons.

Today, it was said the MIPS and Ensigma deals are “progressing well”, with indicative proposals received for both businesses.

Imagination’s other business is PowerVR, which develops graphics technology.

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