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TI kills wireless base band unit sale

Posted: 30 Jan 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:wireless baseband  semiconductor business  wireless IC 

Texas Instruments Inc. said that it has cancelled plans to sell its wireless merchant base station IC division since it could not find buyers willing to pay what the unit was worth.

Instead, the company plans to fold the Rs.1,751.27 crore to Rs.2,001.46 crore ($350 million to $400 million) revenue business back in house but said it would only continue to support existing customers as the division eventually winds down over the course of the next few years.

"It became clear to us that a sale would not achieve the same value that we would accomplish by retaining the operation and reducing the investment level to the minimum required to support our existing customer engagements," said Ron Slaymaker, TI's VP, investor relations, during a conference call Jan. 26 to discuss the company's Q4 results.

TI put the wireless base band semiconductor business up for sale last October as part of plans to focus resources on analogue, embedded processing and high-end wireless IC products.

After a series of discussions with potential buyers, TI concluded a sale would not be "financially worthwhile for our stockholders," according to CFO Kevin March.

The cancellation of the sale means TI would slowly wind down the business and continue plans to concentrate its remaining wireless IC investments in its OMAP applications processors, the brain behind higher-end cellular handsets or the so-called smart phones.

"Our outlook for wireless has not changed," March said. "Our view is the base band market has standardised and the growth opportunity in cell phones will continue to be in the smart phones, the 3G type phones; those phones where the user interface becomes a lot more important to customers and therefore the applications processor becomes more important."

- Bolaji Ojo
EE Times

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