CSR merges with SiRF to strengthen its GPS offering

Deal combines Bluetooth and GPS strengths

The deal was backed by the boards of both companies and is expected to complete in the second quarter of this year. It will give SiRF shareholders 0.741 of an ordinary share in CSR for each SiRF share. SiRF shareholders will end up owning 27 per cent of the enlarged CSR group. Diosdado Banatao, executive chairman and interim CEO of SiRF, and Kanwar Chadha, founder and vice president of marketing at SiRF, will join the CSR board as non-executive director and executive director, respectively.

Joep van Beurden, CEO of CSR, said: “Financially, strategically and commercially, this is a compelling transaction. We expect it to be significantly earnings accretive, to enhance the enlarged group’s financial strength and cash position and to create new and wider revenue opportunities that neither party on its own could pursue as effectively.”

CSR has been trying to strengthen its position in GPS for some time. Its enhanced GPS (eGPS) technology draws on the intellectual property it got when it bought Nordnav Technologies for its software-based GPS system, and Cambridge Positioning Systems for its cellular location technology. eGPS systems use information from cellular networks to speed up positioning, and to provide position estimates when GPS signals are unavailable, both of which are attractive facilities for handset users.

SiRF is a market leader in GPS semiconductors, with a patent portfolio in GPS and assisted GPS that complements CSR's patents in eGPS.

CSR estimates that around 20% of mobile handsets in 2008 had GPS facilities and that this will double by 2012. The two companies believe that the combination of CSR’s position and customer base in Bluetooth, and SiRF’s position in GPS, will enable cross-selling between the two constituencies.

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