UK internet-of-things chip firm CSR rejects takeover bid from US’s Microchip

CSR Microchip Bluetooth module RN4020

CSR, the British chip design firm previously known as Cambridge Silicon Radio, has turned down a takeover bid from U.S. semiconductor outfit Microchip Technology.

CSR was a pioneer in the Bluetooth space and a notable player in mobile connectivity, but the downward trajectories of big customers like Nokia and RIM forced it to sell off its mobile business to Samsung a couple years ago. These days it’s concentrating on Bluetooth Smart, the low-energy standard for connecting wearables, cars and other internet-of-things devices, as well as modules for location tracking, audio and image processing, and Wi-Fi.

On Thursday, CSR responded to rumors of a possible sale that had sent its stock price up 25 percent in the morning. No deal, the company said.

The suitor was revealed as Microchip, which partnered with CSR just weeks ago on a new Bluetooth Smart module (pictured above) for fitness trackers, retail beacons and smart home appliances. CSR said:

The price proposed by Microchip has been rejected and the Board is considering its options for the company.

The sale rumors had pushed CSR up to a market valuation of just south of $2 billion, and the FT had reported the sale price was likely to be as much as $3 billion. Microchip will now need to make a firm bid by September 25th, or explicitly drop its takeover ambitions.

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