Acorn goes as break-up rattles ARM

Acorn goes as break-up rattles ARM
Richard Wilson
Shares in microprocessor firm ARM tumbled by five per cent today as investors came to terms with the break-up of its parent company Acorn.
ARM was quick to issue a statement distancing itself from the break-up ?270m bid by an independent investment vehicle set up by merchant bank Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.
Under the deal Acorn investors will effectively swap their shares for an equity stake in ARM, the high-flying microprocessor development and design services business. They will be offered two ARM shares for every Acorn share.
The deal, which will see the original Acorn business broken up and the 20 year old brand name disappear, reflects the success of ARM since its flotation on the stock market last year.
The intention is also to sell Acorn’s digital TV set-top box supplier business to rival Pace Microtechnology for a net asset value of just ?200,000.
The recently set-up digital signal processor development group, including the Bristol-based Element 14 design company, will be sold to a management buyout team led by Acorn CEO Stan Boland for its net asset value of ?1.5m.

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