Synaptics, which last supplied parts to Apple around eight years
ago, said on Tuesday that it would pay $475 million for the
remaining outstanding shares in Renesas SP Drivers Inc, a unit of
Japanese chipmaker Renesas Electronics Corp.
"If Apple is to become a customer of Synaptics again we're
absolutely thrilled and happy and hope we can continue the strong
relationship that it appears to have had with RSP," Bergman told
media at a news conference in Tokyo on Wednesday.
Synaptics, which claims 70 percent of the touchpad market, is
muscling its way back into the Apple supply chain after it was
dropped as a supplier when the iPhone maker decided to move touch
technology internally. Before that, it had made the scrolling wheel
for the first iPod.
"Our better opportunities are really complementary technologies to
what they do internally. And at this junction I don't believe they
do any driver chips internally so that would really be an
opportunity for us," Bergman said.
Apple demands its panel suppliers use display driver chips from
Renesas SP exclusively as using ones from several suppliers would
lead to noticeable variations in the display, a person with
knowledge of those negotiations said.
Renesas SP posted revenue of about $650 million and cash flow of
about $100 million for the year ended March.
With the acquisition, Synaptics is also aiming to integrate its
touch technology with Renesas SP's display drivers, senior vice
president Kevin Barber said, which would both improve performance
and lower costs.
"There is no one else that can do touch display driver integration
right now. There is no other competitor," Feltl & Co analyst Jeffrey
Synaptics, whose chips are used in Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's
devices such as Galaxy S5 smartphones and Galaxy Note 3 phablets, is
also expecting growth from smartphone fingerprint sensors, in which
it claims 90 percent of the market after acquiring a company
specializing in the technology last year.
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Apple's iPhone 5S uses a rival technology developed in-house after
Apple bought biometrics firm Advantec two years ago.
Reuters had reported last month that Apple had discussed purchasing
Renesas SP with majority owner Renesas Electronics, which holds a 55
percent stake. Display maker Sharp Corp has a 25 percent stake and
Taiwan's Powerchip holds the remainder.
Synaptics also raised its fourth-quarter revenue forecast range to
$300 million to $310 million from $275 million to $295 million on
Tuesday, citing better-than-expected sales of mobile and PC
products. It said the deal is expected to immediately add to
adjusted profit after its expected close in the fourth quarter.
Its shares jumped 17.7 percent to $78.30 in extended trading after
closing down 1.3 percent at $66.52 on the Nasdaq on Tuesday. The
stock has gained 28 percent so far this year.
The company, which competes with Atmel Corp and Cypress
Semiconductor Corp, is scheduled to report fourth-quarter results on
(Additional reporting by Sampad Patnaik; Editing by Savio D'Souza)
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