Joep van Beurden

CSR merges with Zoran

Bluetooth chip pioneer CSR has merged with imaging and video-technology company Zoran.

CSR’s chairman, CEO and CFO will lead the merged company, with Dr Levy Gerzberg, co-founder, president, CEO and director of Zoran  joining the CSR board as a non-executive director, alongside an additional independent non-executive director nominated by Zoran.

Under the terms of the deal, Zoran shareholders will receive 1.85 ordinary shares of CSR in the form of American Depositary Shares for each share they hold in Zoran. Following the deal Zoran shareholders will own approximately 35% of the newly enlarged company.

CSR is also returning up to $240 million to shareholders by buying back its own shares over the next 12 months.

The offer price represents a premium of approximately 39.9% to the closing price of Zoran shares on Friday, and a premium of approximately 44% to the average closing price of Zoran shares over the past twelve months.

Joep van Beurden, CEO of CSR, who told Engineering and Technology last autumn that the company was on the look-out for acquisitions but that "you have to be prepared to say no ten times before you say yes to the one time that makes sense,” commented this morning: "Digital electronic devices are becoming increasingly connected and full of media-rich features, including the ability to stream images from your camera to your PC or video conferencing from your smartphone.  Zoran’s imaging and video capabilities, combined with our own connectivity and location capabilities, make this a great opportunity for us."

He added: “We expect the merger to enhance the merged company’s financial strength and to create new and wider revenue opportunities that neither party could pursue on its own. Combined with the share buyback we expect the transaction to be strongly double-digit accretive in 2012.”

Dr. Levy Gerzberg, co-founder, president, CEO and director of Zoran, added: "As a pioneer in digital video and still imaging, Zoran has an extensive portfolio of proprietary technologies that is highly complementary to CSR’s existing capabilities."

The company says the deal should help it grow its business to the point where it can become one of the top 10 fabless companies in the world, as well as improving margins and reducing annual running costs by $50 million by the end of 2011.

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