US digital imaging giant joins UK firm in strategic parntership

CSR to buy Zoran in $679 million deal

Cambridge based chipmaker CSR yesterday announced plans to acquire US imaging firm Zoran, whose image compression technology powers 30 per cent of the world’s digital cameras.

CSR manufactures chips used mainly for audio, connectivity and GPS location. Chief exec Joep van Beurden described the move as “an exciting transaction on both a strategic and financial level."

Zoran also supply processors for HDTVs and set-top boxes. Van Beurden said “the combined entity is going to be in a position to be very relevant to camera manufacturers. The same is true for digital televisions, in cars, in gaming and in handsets.”

In an all share merger, CSR will own 65 per cent of the combined company.

The merger could lead to collaboration on forthcoming chips, but it primarily gives CSR access to the huge markets which Zoran supply.

For example, smart TVs have created demand for more connectivity chips; wi-fi is used by smart sets to connect to the internet and Bluetooth is used to power remotes and 3D glasses.

While a beneficiary of the smartphone boom, CSR has lost ground on other chipmakers like Qualcomm, but the new strategy will enable CSR to open new revenue streams.

The deal comes after CSR tripled their operating profits last year, netting £48.8 million.

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