BRITISH CHIP DESIGNER Imagination Technologies has announced that it's being bought for £550m by Chinese-backed investment firm Canyon Bridge.
The news comes not long after the company put itself up for sale because its biggest customer, Apple, said it would stop licensing its designs for the iPhone in favour of developing its own graphics chips.
Losing a whopping 70 per cent of its value as a result, the decision came as a blow to the company, as it relied on the iPhone maker for around half of its revenue.
Imagination bigwig Andrew Heath has announced that the takeover by Canyon Bridge - who recently raised $1.5bn (£1.1bn) from Chinese investors and has offices in Beijing and San Francisco - was a "very good outcome" and would ensure it remained in the UK.
"Imagination has made excellent progress both operationally and financially over the last 18 months until Apple's unsubstantiated assertions and the subsequent dispute forced us to change course," said Heath in a statement.
"The acquisition will ensure that Imagination - with its strong growth prospects - remains an independent IP licensing business, based in the UK, but operating around the world."
He added that there are no also plans to cut jobs at the firm's HQ in Hertfordshire.
"Imagination employs a large number of hugely talented individuals who have developed our market leading technology. They and the business as a whole will benefit from Canyon Bridge's investment in Imagination as it moves to the next stage of its development," he added.
Despite the good news, Imagination still remains in dispute with Apple, after claiming that it doubted Apple could make its own chips for the iPhone and iPad without violating its patents. The New York Times reports that analysts believe lawsuits are likely.
Back in May, Imagination warned: "[We have] been unable to make satisfactory progress with Apple to date regarding alternative commercial arrangements for the current licence and royalty agreement."
"Imagination has therefore commenced the dispute resolution procedure under the licence agreement with a view to reaching an agreement through a more structured process. Imagination has reserved all its rights in respect of Apple's unauthorised use of Imagination's confidential information and Imagination's intellectual property rights."
Apple currently holds an 8 per cent stake in Imagination Technologies, and just over a year ago, speculation was rife that the firm was planning to purchase the chip maker, with the deal said to have been in the "advanced stages." µ
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