Sony confirms acquisition of Israel's Altair

Eran Eshed, Oded Melamed, Yigal Bitran

Sony will pay $212 million for LTE technology company Altair Semiconductor. 

Japanese consumer electronics giant Sony Corporation has confirmed that it is acquiring Israeli company Altair Semiconductor. The price is $212 million.

"Globes" reported the acquisition last week.

Sony said in its announcement, "Sony is announcing that it has reached an agreement with Altair Semiconductor ("Altair") and its major shareholders to acquire the company. The purchase price is 212 million US dollars (approximately 25 billion yen), and Sony expects to complete the acquisition in early February, 2016.

"Altair, an Israel-based company, owns modem chip technology and related software for LTE (Long Term Evolution), a 4G cellular standard for mobile devices. Altair develops and sells products focused on LTE technology, and its modem chips stand out for their low power consumption, high performance and competitive cost.

"LTE is already widely used in data communication for mobile phones, and is also expected to play a pivotal role in the interconnection of the Internet of Things ("IoT"). Going forward, more and more "things" are expected to be equipped with cellular chipsets, realizing a connected environment in which "things" can reliably and securely access network services that leverage the power of cloud computing.

"With the acquisition of Altair, Sony aims to not only expand Altair's existing business, but also to move forward with research on and development of new sensing technologies. By combining Sony's sensing technologies - such as GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) and image sensors - with Altair's high-performance, low power consumption and cost-competitive modem chip technology, and by further evolving both, Sony will strive to develop a new breed of cellular-connected, sensing component devices.

"With the markets for wearable and IoT devices expected to continue to expand, Sony aims to deliver component devices that feature both sensing and communication capabilities, as well as new LTE solutions that leverage the strengths of these component devices."

Altair was founded in 2005 and is based in Hod Hasharon. It has raised $135 million to date. The company has 200 employees, most of them in Israel.

The company was founded by former Texas Instruments executives CEO Oded Melamed, CTO Yigal Bitran and VP Marketing Eran Eshed. Each of the founders holds a 0.5% stake in the company and will earn $1 million. The other major investors are Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) (21%), BRM Capital (18%), Bessemer Venture Partners (14%), Giza Venture Capital (13%), and Walden Israel (7%).

Altair has been partnering with Sony for many years as a chip supplier.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on January 26, 2016

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

Eran Eshed, Oded Melamed, Yigal Bitran
Eran Eshed, Oded Melamed, Yigal Bitran
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