Chipone Technology Co. Ltd. and private equity firm E-Town Capital, agreed to acquire Integrated Memory Logic Ltd (iML), a fabless semiconductor subsidiary of Freemont, Calif.-based Exar Corp. (NYSE: EXAR), for $136 million. Chipone is a leading Chinese semiconductors pioneer and fabless IC design and solutions company, which focuses on high-end power management circuits and a wide of array of display-related IC designs. “The acquisition of iML brings a world-class design team, highly differentiated analog mixed-signal and power management products to Chipone’s portfolio, and expands our exposure to world-class customers,” said Chipone chairman and CEO Jinfang “Frank” Zhang. “This transaction is yet another major step forward in our larger strategy to focus on our core competencies, maximize Exar’s operating cash and redeploy assets toward our fundamental goal of increasing shareholder value,” said Exar’s newly appointed CEO Ryan A. Benton. In April 2014, Exar acquired iML (TW:3638), previously traded on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, for $223 million, to boost Exar’s presence in Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and China, where most of iML’s customers are based. Founded in 1996, iML is a leading provider of power management and color calibration solutions for the flat-panel display and LED lighting markets. Exar shares rose 12.43% to $7.87, giving the company a market value of $382.64 million. Cowen and Co. LLC served as financial advisor and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP served as legal counsel to Exar. Needham and Company, LLC served as financial advisor and Fenwick & West LLP and DeHeng Law Offices served as legal counsel to E-Town Chipone on the transaction. Exar’s board of directors has unanimously approved the transaction. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close by the end of the calendar year. Beijing’s Economic Technological Development Area, widely known as E-Town, in the city’s Daxing district, is a new, shiny brand of urban technology and the strategic point in the combined development of the cities of Beijing and Tianjin, and Hebei province. It has become a world-class science and technology center, while at the same time focusing on environmental and ecological development, as well as culture. Within E-Town there are six industrial parks consisting of New Media, Biopharmaceuticals, New Energy and Automobiles, Manufacturing-Oriented Services, Military and Civilian, and New Airport. Built in 1992, Beijing E-Town was approved by the State Council as the only national economic technological development area in Beijing. A total of 119 investment projects have been launched by 83 global top 500 enterprises, including Mercedes-Benz, Corning, GE and Bayer. Over the course of a decade, Beijing E-Town has become a high-end brand with international influence, transforming a large plot of farming land into a global high-tech industrial zone. Nearly 4,000 enterprises from over 30 countries and regions have settled in E-Town, with a total investment exceeding $40 billion. E-Town Capital, or Beijing E-Town International Investment and Development, is a venture capital and private equity firm which provides financing to high-tech companies. It supports large strategic industrial projects in Beijing E-Town, a triple-A rated industrial park, through various funds valued at RMB 240 billion ($36.5 billion). The firm was founded in 2009. Exar designs, develops and markets high performance integrated circuits and system solutions for the industrial, high-end consumer and infrastructure markets. The company’s product portfolio includes analog, display, LED lighting, mixed-signal, power management, connectivity, data management and video processing solutions. Exar was founded in 1971. Photo: Beijing E-Town.]]>
Chinese corporates and financial investors are gravitating to Israel in their quest for high-end technology. This has buoyed local VC activity and more cross-border expansion is likely to follow, as reported in a cover story by the Asian Venture Capital Journal. For the first time a delegation of 22 Israeli VC and PE funds, led by the Ministry of Economy, embarked on a fundraising tour of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing in January of this year. Their objective was to expose the Israeli Start-up ecosystem to Chinese investors and convince them to invest in funds and partner with portfolio companies.