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Atmel to sell secure MCU business

Posted: 06 May 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:microcontroller  secure MCU  semiconductor 

Inside Contactless S.A. has made an offer of a cash purchase for Atmel's Secure Microcontroller Solutions (SMS) business. To this effect it has submitted a signed agreement for the business based in Rousset, France and East Kilbride, United Kingdom. Financial terms of the proposed transaction and separate minority equity investment in INSIDE were not disclosed.

As part of the proposed transaction, Atmel would make a minority equity investment in INSIDE. In addition, Inside would enter into a multi-year supply agreement to continue sourcing wafers from the fabrication operation in Rousset, France that Atmel recently agreed to sell to LFoundry GmbH.

Atmel is presenting Inside's offer to the members of the Works Council in Rousset. After completion of the information and consultation process with the Rousset Works Council in accordance with French law, Atmel will seek authorisation from its Board of Directors to enter into the purchase agreement with Inside, with the transaction expected to close in the second half of 2010, subject to certain closing conditions.

"We are excited about the potential combination of Atmel's SMS business with Inside Contactless, a leading provider of advanced, open-standard contactless chip technologies," said Steven Laub, Atmel's president and CEO. "In addition to further advancing our strategic focus on Atmel's core microcontroller and touch technologies, we believe that the highly complementary nature of the Inside business and the SMS product portfolio should create a positive outcome for both the SMS employees and customers."

"We believe combining Atmel's SMS business with Inside should create exciting opportunities for our customers and the smart card industry. The products, technologies, customer base and operations of the SMS business would complement our own, resulting in a world-class company with greater depth and breadth to service our customers," said Remy de Tonnac, CEO of Inside. "Atmel's SMS business has succeeded because of its people, skills and technology, and we now expect these strengths to reinforce our leadership in contactless technology and allow us to extend our business into new areas. We believe the result will be a fabless semiconductor category leader with the requisite technology, products and scale to create significant value for our customers and investors."

Today's announcement is part of Atmel's pursuit of strategic alternatives for its ASIC business and related manufacturing assets, and follows the agreement to sell Atmel's wafer fabrication operation in Rousset, France, to LFoundry GmbH, which is expected to close during the second quarter of 2010.

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