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Imagination Technologies puts itself up for sale after Apple break-up

BRITISH CHIP DESIGNER Imagination Technologies, which lost 70 per cent of its value after Apple dumped it earlier this year, has announced that it’s putting itself up for sale.

Imagination said back in April that Apple planned to stop licensing its designs within ’15 to 24 months’ in favour of developing its own graphics chips, which came as a blow to the company that relies on the iPhone maker for about half of its revenue.

After announcing plans to flog its two of its businesses, its embedded processor technology MIPS division and mobile connectivity unit Ensigma, Imagination said on Thursday that “it has received interest from a number of parties for a potential acquisition of the whole group.”

“The board of Imagination has therefore decided to initiate a formal sale process for the group and is engaged in preliminary discussions with potential bidders,” the firm said in a statement.

“There can be no certainty that any offer will be made for Imagination, nor that any transaction will be executed, nor as to terms of any such offer or transaction.”

Since the announcement, shares in Imagination have risen 20 per cent. 

In its statement, Imagination said that it remained in dispute with Apple, after last month claiming that it doubted Apple could make its own chips for the iPhone and iPad without violating its patents. The New York Times reports that analysts believe lawsuits are likely.

Back in May, Imagination warned: “Imagination has been unable to make satisfactory progress with Apple to date regarding alternative commercial arrangements for the current licence and royalty agreement.”

“Imagination has therefore commenced the dispute resolution procedure under the licence agreement with a view to reaching an agreement through a more structured process. Imagination has reserved all its rights in respect of Apple’s unauthorised use of Imagination’s confidential information and Imagination’s intellectual property rights.”

Apple currently holds an 8 per cent stake in Imagination Technologies, and this time last year speculation was rife that the firm was planning to purchase the chip maker, with the deal said to have been in the “advanced stages.” µ

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