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Murata to Acquire RF specialist Peregrine for $471 million


Murata gets silicon-on-insulator process and IPR plus RF front end capability 

Murata Electronics North America and Peregrine Semiconductor have announced that Murata will acquire all outstanding shares of Peregrine not owned by Murata. The total transaction value is $471 million ($465 million excluding Murata's existing holding).

Peregrine was formed as a fabless company in 1988. Since then its founding team have been perfecting UltraCMOS,  a patented form of silicon-on-insulator (SoI) technology, designed to deliver the performance needed to solve tough RF challenges, such as linearity. 

Peregrine's SoI products are challenging GaAs transistors in mobile phones: its switches have already driven the demise of GaAs pHEMTs, and the technology is now competing with the GaAs HBTs used in power amplifiers

The acquisition will deliver to Murata these advanced RF front-end capabilities and the SoI process technology, key areas for the growing integration of mobile technologies. Peregrine supplies many wireless markets, including: smartphones, test and measurement, automotive, public safety radio and wireless Infrastructure. Peregrine will also provide Murata with a strong portfolio of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) covering the entire RF SOI front-end. Peregrine holds more than 180 filed and pending patents and has shipped over 2 billion UltraCMOS units.

"This acquisition will combine Murata's world-leading mobile RF module capabilities with Peregrine's best-in-class RF front-end products. Peregrine has a team of talented RF engineers," said Norio Nakajima, executive VP, director of communication business unit of Murata. "Peregrine invented RF SOI, has led its development for 20 years, and accomplished a large number of industry firsts. We have worked closely with them for many years. Their innovation, including the Global 1 all-silicon integrated RF front-end, is a key strategic area for the mobile industry. This transaction will deepen our existing partnership and position us to meet the expanding opportunities in this field."

"Murata is the world's leading RF module and filter provider, and we have benefited from our many years of partnership with them. The combination of Murata's leading products with Peregrine's leading-edge SOI products will position us to compete aggressively in our chosen markets," said Jim Cable, chairman and CEO of Peregrine Semiconductor. "As part of the Murata team, we will be able to expand our existing partnership and speed the industry's transition to an integrated, all-CMOS RF front-end. We remain committed to providing leading solutions to customers in all our current markets. We have huge respect for Murata's capabilities, and look forward to jointly accomplishing great things."

The transaction, which has been approved by both companies' boards of directors, is expected to close by the end of 2014 or early 2015, subject to Peregrine's stockholders' approval, regulatory approvals, and other customary closing conditions.

Peregrine will continue with its current business model as a wholly owned subsidiary of Murata.

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