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On Semi set to acquire Aptina for $400M

11 Jun 2014  | Peter Clarke

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On Semiconductor Corp. has confirmed its plan to buy Aptina Imaging Corp., a fabless CMOS image sensor company, for $400million in cash.

Aptina was created as spin-off of Micron Technology's image sensor division in March 2008 before becoming a privately held company in July 2009. The technology had a pedigree stretching back through to Micron's acquisition on Photobit Inc. in 2001. Micron continued to make CMOS image sensors for Aptina at a wafer fab in Avezzano in Italy although that is in the process of being sold off to LFoundry GmbH.

The acquisition will make On Semi a player in the image sensor segments of the automotive and industrial semiconductor markets. Other markets addressed by Aptina's products include cameras, mobile devices, and computing and gaming platforms.

According to market research firm TSR, the worldwide demand for image sensors for automotive and industrial applications is expected to grow at annual compound rate of 16 per cent between 2013 and 2016. In 2012, Aptina was ranked as the fifth largest vendor of CMOS image sensors with an 8 per cent share of a $6.9billion or about $550million in annual sales, according to Yole Developpement. This makes the $400million valuation look rather low.

Aptina's revenue for the 12 months ending on May 29, 2014, was approximately $532million with gross and operating margins of approximately 29 per cent and 3 per cent, respectively.

The deal will be funded with cash on the balance sheet and an existing revolving credit facility. It has been approved by both boards of directors and is expected to close during the third quarter of 2014.

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