U.K. Microprocessor Firm Ups Offer For U.S. Chip Designer MIPS: $100M Cash For MIPS’ Operating Business, “Certain” Patents

U.K. microprocessor firm Imagination Technologies will be hoping it’s third time lucky in its bid to acquire the operating business and “certain” patents from U.S. chip designer MIPS Technologies. The company has upped its offer to $100 million, from the $80 million offered earlier this month, after rival semiconductor group CEVA also again increased its offer. Reuters is reporting that CEVA made a $90 million offer last week for the same MIPS’ assets — triggering Imagination’s latest increase.

In a release put out today, Imagination Technologies Group plc said it “has signed a revised agreement to acquire the operating business and certain patent properties, as well as license rights to all of the remaining patent properties, of MIPS Technologies… for a cash consideration of $100 million, to be financed from existing cash resources and a new acquisition facility that has already been set up”.

Imagination notes that in the 12 months to June 30, 2012 the MIPS processor licensing business generated around $60 million in revenue and a loss before tax of $9 million. MIPS’ licensing business had gross assets of around $20 million at September 30, 2012 (excluding cash and short term investments).

It remains to be seen whether CEVA will continue the bidding war that has driven the acquisition price up from the $60 million originally offered by Imagination in November. Assuming the latest bid is not derailed, Imagination said it expects the acquisition to complete during Q1 2013 — once additional conditions, including the approval of MIPS’ shareholders, are met.