The Shoot-Out

What’s a wireless IC business worth? Frans van Houten, Peter Bauer, Rich Beyer, Scott McGregor and Carlo Bozotti would give you very different answers.

van Houten went first in the shoot-out selling NXP’s wireless business to ST-Ericsson for $1.5 billion in August 2008.

Rich Beyer went second putting the Freescale wireless business up for sale in the autumn of 2008. In early 2009 the decision was made to wind it down.

Third to step up to the spot was Peter Bauer who netted a cool $1.4 billion for his sale of Infineon’s wireless business to Intel.

Failing to find any net, in late 2012 Carlo Bozotti announced that ST would close down ST-Ericsson. ST spent $1.5 billion buying NXP’s wireless business then merging it into ST-Ericsson which ran up another $2.7 billion of accumulated losses.

Then, on Tuesday this week, Scott McGregor announced that Broadcom had failed to find a buyer for its wireless business. “On June 2nd we announced that we were exiting the sale of our baseband business through either a sale or wind down,” said McGregor, “since then we have been testing the market for interest in a potential transaction. We made the decision to pursue a wind down.”

So the answer is: either a billion and a bit, or nowt

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4 Comments

  1. david manners
    July 24, 2014 22:11

    Well maybe Jack, but the mobile mess doesn’t seem to be worrying Intel’s investor’s – the shares are soaring.

  2. Jack
    July 24, 2014 22:09

    So I guess would be Brian Krzanich after losing $1B and a bit to wind down baseband biz bought from IFx?

  3. david manners
    July 24, 2014 20:56

    Yes it’s a curious thing how the same skills can be so variously valued, Mike, of course ST and Ericsson re-absorbed some hundreds of engineers after ST-Ericsson was closed down and I believe Freescale did too when it wound down its mobile business.

  4. Mike Bryant
    July 24, 2014 19:23

    One would have thought the skills in the mobile wireless group could have been applied to some other product line (IoT anyone ?). Developing your own IP would seem to be a better strategy than having to buy a company later on.

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