Chipmaker consolidation continues: Avago Technologies to acquire Broadcom in $37 billion transaction

May 28, 2015 OpenSystems Media

After losing out in the Freescale sweepstakes earlier this year to NXP Semiconductor, Avago Technologies appears to have satisfied its M&A appetite in a $37 billion takeover that will net them Wi-Fi chipmaker Broadcom. The transaction, announced on Thursday, has Avago exchanging $17 billion in cash assets and $20 billion in stock for the wireless semiconductor giant in what data provider Dealogic describes as the largest pure technology deal on record. The acquisition is expected to close in early 2016.

The integration of Broadcom and their 802.11ac wireless portfolio with Avago’s storage, sensor, and analog/mixed signal components will produce another silicon giant with a wide range of wired and wireless connectivity solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT), network infrastructure, and other markets. Projected revenue for the combined entity is $15 billion annually.

The move is the latest in a series of acquisitions that include the aforementioned merger of Freescale and NXP Semiconductors and Intel’s rumored purchase of FPGA/SoC vendor Altera, among others. 2015 has so far been the most active year ever for semiconductor mergers and acquisitions in terms of dollar value, says Dealogic, whose records date back to 1995.

One can’t help but notice that this year’s chip consolidation comes as organizations move from defining IoT strategies to IoT implementation. From an embedded perspective, Avago/Broadcom, NXP/Freescale, and a possible Intel/Altera represent powerhouses in terms of wireless connectivity, edge sensing/low-power processing, and general-purpose/high-performance computing (HPC), respectively. From a revenue perspective, each of these covenants also have major implications on market share in each of those sectors.

Analysts expect more mergers and acquisitions in the chip space through the end of 2015 as the semiconductor market continues to redefine itself. In the coming months this certainly leaves room for speculation as to the fates of major players such as Marvell Semiconductor, Renesas, Maxim Integrated Technology, Xilinx, and Qualcomm, to name just a few.

Brandon Lewis, Technology Editor
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