Qualcomm buy Atheros in $3.1bn Ubiquitous Connectivity deal

Jan 5, 2011
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Qualcomm buy Atheros in $3.1bn Ubiquitous Connectivity deal

Qualcomm has announced that it will acquire Atheros, in a deal worth around $3.1bn. The deal is being described as a way for Qualcomm to jump into computing, networking and consumer electronics segments, expanding beyond its traditional expertise in cellular connectivity.

Atheros has made several announcements this week at CES 2011, including high-performance WiFi router chipsets, tablet WiFi/Bluetooth chips, and combo Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi chips. "It is Qualcomm’s strategy to continually integrate additional technologies into mobile devices to make them the primary way that people communicate, compute and access content" Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm said in a statement, "the combination of Qualcomm and Atheros is intended to accelerate this opportunity by utilizing best-in-class products for communications, computing and consumer electronics to broaden existing customer relationships and expand access to new partners and distribution channels."

The acquisition will strengthen Qualcomm's position in so-called "ubiquitous connectivity" segment, where mobile and home electronics interact with each other seamlessly. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2011, subject to regulator approval.

Press Release:

Qualcomm to Acquire Atheros, Leader in Connectivity & Networking Solutions

Accelerates Expansion of Company’s Semiconductor Business into Adjacent Markets

SAN DIEGO AND SAN JOSE – January 05, 2011 – Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) and Atheros Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHR), today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement whereby Qualcomm intends to acquire Atheros, a leader in innovative technologies for wireless and wired local area connectivity in the computing, networking and consumer electronics industries. The acquisition is intended to help accelerate the expansion of Qualcomm’s technologies and platforms to new businesses beyond cellular and provide access to significant new growth opportunities.

Qualcomm has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Atheros for $45 per share in cash, representing an enterprise value of $3.1 billion. The transaction has been approved by the Qualcomm and Atheros boards of directors and is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of domestic and foreign regulatory approvals and the approval of Atheros’ stockholders. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2011. Excluding amortization of acquired intangibles, Qualcomm expects the acquisition to be modestly accretive to earnings per share in fiscal year 2012, the first full year of combined operations. Qualcomm intends to finalize its estimates of the transaction’s financial impact, as well as the accounting for the transaction, upon deal close.

“It is Qualcomm’s strategy to continually integrate additional technologies into mobile devices to make them the primary way that people communicate, compute and access content. This acquisition is a natural extension of that strategy into other types of devices,” said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm. “The combination of Qualcomm and Atheros is intended to accelerate this opportunity by utilizing best-in-class products for communications, computing and consumer electronics to broaden existing customer relationships and expand access to new partners and distribution channels.”

Atheros’ current president and CEO, Dr. Craig H. Barratt, is expected to join Qualcomm as president of Qualcomm Networking & Connectivity.

“Qualcomm and Atheros have a long history of collaboration and share a culture of technical innovation and execution excellence,” Barratt said. “The Atheros team will build upon Qualcomm’s strengths and leadership to bolster our customers’ ability to deliver innovative and differentiated products in the increasingly connected world.”

“With this acquisition and our complementary products, Qualcomm will be in a strong position to take our successful mobile strategy of bringing the best technologies together into a systems solution and apply this to new opportunities,” said Steve Mollenkopf, EVP and group president of Qualcomm. “We see this strategy as central to helping our customers capitalize on the ubiquitous connectivity and seamless experiences that are developing across mobile phones, computing and consumer electronics.”

Editor’s Note: There will be a conference call on January 5, 2011 beginning at 5:30 a.m. PT on Qualcomm’s Investor Relations website at: http://investor.qualcomm.com/events.cfm. A taped audio replay will be available via telephone on January 5, 2011 through February 5, 2011 at 9:00 p.m. PT. To listen to the replay, U.S. callers may dial (800) 642-1687 and international callers may dial (706) 645-9291. U.S. and international callers should use reservation number 35060578. An audio replay of the conference call will be available on Qualcomm’s Investor Relations website at http://investor.qualcomm.com/events.cfm following the live call. To view the web slides that accompany this release and conference call, please go to the Qualcomm Investor Relations website at: http://investor.qualcomm.com/events.cfm

About Atheros
Atheros Communications delivers innovative technologies for wireless and wired communications. Its mission is to invent technologies that connect and empower people in ways that are elegant and accessible to all. Building upon its broad expertise in RF and mixed signal semiconductor design, Atheros’ portfolio includes a wide variety of connectivity solutions that are used by many of the world’s leading networking equipment, computing and consumer device manufacturers. Headquartered in San Jose, California, Atheros has a significant and growing presence in Asia and Europe to serve its global customer base. For more information, visit www.atheros.com.

About Qualcomm
Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) is the world leader in next-generation mobile technologies. For 25 years, Qualcomm ideas and inventions have driven the evolution of wireless communications, connecting people more closely to information, entertainment and each other. Today, Qualcomm technologies are powering the convergence of mobile communications and consumer electronics, making wireless devices and services more personal, affordable and accessible to people everywhere.


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