IQE to buy Kopin wireless unit for $75 million

Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:07pm GMT

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(Reuters) - British semiconductor materials maker IQE Plc (IQE.L) said it would buy a unit of U.S.-based Kopin Corp (KOPN.O) for $75 million (46.6 million pounds) to strengthen its position in the wireless industry.

"This really extends significantly our market leadership position and means that we are in just every handset around the world being built now," Chief Executive Drew Nelson said in an interview.

The deal, coming seven months after it bought a wafer manufacturing unit from RFMD, also gives IQE a manufacturing facility in Taiwan, a global chip making centre, he said.

IQE said earlier this week it was in advanced talks regarding a potential significant acquisition.

The Kopin unit, Kopin Wireless, produces materials used in power amplifiers, a key component in mobile devices.

IQE said the deal would be financed through a $40 million facility with HSBC and a placement of 56.9 million shares at 29 pence each to raise 16.5 million pounds.

Shares in IQE, which makes semiconductor wafers that are used in microchips in smartphones, tablets and GPS equipment, were up 14 percent at 33.3 pence at 1452 GMT.

The deal is expected to add to earnings this year, with cost synergies of at least 7 million pounds a year from 2014, IQE said.

Cardiff, Wales-based IQE, which has a market value of about 172 million pounds ($275 million), said 2012 revenue was 87 million to 88 million pounds, with core earnings of 16 million to 17 million pounds.

($1 = 0.6247 British pounds)

(Reporting By Shilpa Hinduja in Bangalore and Paul Sandle in London; Editing by Maju Samuel and Sarah Young)

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