HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Lattice Semiconductor, one of the last independent FPGA companies, has just announced that it has agreed to be acquired by Canyon Bridge Capital Partners — a newly formed, global private equity buyout fund that is headquartered in Palo Alto, California — for approximately $1.3 billion inclusive of Lattice’s net debt, or $8.30 per share in cash. This represents a 30% premium to Lattice’s final trade price on November 2, 2016, the last trading day prior to the announcement.
This latest acquisition leaves Xilinx as “the last man standing” with regard to the larger FPGA players. Actel was acquired by Microsemi in 2010 and Altera was acquired by Intel in 2015. In both of those cases, there was a technology play behind the story. Microsemi is big in security, and Actel's Flash-Based SmartFusion SoC FPGAs can play a big role in the secure boot process, for example. Meanwhile, Intel is huge in CPUs, and the combination of these CPUs with Altera's FPGAs — as separate devices, mounted in the same package, or, ultimately, fabricated on the same die — will be very important with regard to applications like high-performance computing (HPC).
In early 2015, Lattice acquired Silicon Image, touting the advantages of having both an FPGA and ASSP play (see Lattice Deal: Harbinger of FPGA & ASSP Union). One of the first offspring from this marriage was the CrossLink family of video bridge pASSPs (programmable ASSPs).
There is no technology play in the case of Canyon Bridge acquisition of Lattice — this is purely a financial play. The newly-formed Canyon Bridge wants to be a player in the technology market, and it sees Lattice Semiconductor as the anchor for their long-term investment portfolio, said Doug Hunter, senior director of marketing at Lattice Semiconductor in an interview with EE Times.
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