January 15, 2007 -- CSR plc (“CSR” or the “Company”) (LSE:CSR), today announces the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of NordNav Technologies AB (“NordNav”) and the assets of Cambridge Positioning Systems Ltd (“CPS”). These acquisitions, when combined, will allow CSR to provide software-based high performance GPS (Global Positioning System) suitable for mass-market mobile handsets, PNDs (Personal Navigation Devices), PCs and other portable devices for an incremental price that falls to less than $1 of the overall bill of materials when used with CSR’s Bluetooth. The acquisitions will allow CSR to offer the most competitive, complete and technically advanced mobile GPS solution available at a very low additional cost.
NordNav, based in Sweden, has been acquired for an initial cash consideration of $40 million. A further cash consideration of up to $35 million may be payable subject to future performance objectives being met by NordNav. CPS, based in Cambridge, UK, has been acquired for a total cash consideration of $35 million. Both NordNav and CPS were private companies, principally owned by venture capital. The acquisitions will both be financed entirely from CSR’s existing cash resources.
CSR expects to offer its first GPS products during the first half of 2007, and anticipates both acquisitions will be earnings enhancing in 2008. The acquisitions are a further step in CSR’s strategy of diversification which already includes WiFi, FM, UWB (Ultra-Wide Bluetooth) and WiBree.
NordNav brings to CSR a world-class software based GPS solution. CSR will combine this with CPS’s specialised location system technology to deliver significant performance benefits over traditional standalone GPS offerings including the ability of the CSR solution to work indoors, in deep urban areas and provide a shorter location fix.
ABI Research* forecast that the number of GPS chips shipping into mobile phones will increase at the rate of 45% per year between 2006 and 2011 to around 200 million chips. CSR expects its low cost software based GPS will drive an increased penetration into mobile phones.
NordNav has already successfully implemented an embedded software receiver for mobile GPS positioning whose operational performance is as good as industry standard hardware centric implementations. CPS’s technology is able to provide a shorter time to first fix, which reduces satellite acquisition time and provides power savings. Both companies have substantial patented intellectual property.
CSR expects its first GPS product offerings to enable satellite navigation and other locationbased services. CSR’s GPS technology will also support the Galileo standard. CSR will be demonstrating its GPS technology at 3GSM in February 2007.
As well as bringing a significant new product offering, the acquisitions will provide CSR with significant additional research and development engineering talent. In total, over 40 employees have transferred to CSR from NordNav and CPS.
John Scarisbrick, CEO of CSR commented:
“We are delighted with these acquisitions. We will be able to provide a technically superior GPS solution which at less than $1, allows GPS to be affordable to all. CSR’s customers are enthusiastic for GPS at this much lower price point and I am confident that we will see a significant increase in mobile handset attach rates for GPS and location based services.
Our focus remains on the handset market and we are executing on our strategy to add value beyond Bluetooth in the phone. We will continue to invest both organically and via complementary acquisitions to further improve our product offering, enhance our customer proposition and maintain our competitive advantage.”
* Note: ABI Research - figures do not include integrated GPS in Qualcomm CDMA handsets)
UBS Investment Bank acted as financial adviser to CSR in connection with these transactions.
CSR is the leading global provider of Bluetooth technology and has developed expertise in other single-chip wireless communication standards such as Wi-Fi (IEEE802.11). CSR offers developed hardware/software solutions for Bluetooth based around BlueCore, a fully integrated 2.4 GHz radio, baseband and microcontroller.
CSR has already launched its fifth generation BlueCore suite and is in volume manufacture of its fourth generation BlueCore devices. BlueCore4 supports the Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) standard which was ratified at the end of 2004. Outside of Bluetooth, CSR has also developed UniFi, the first single chip 802.11a/b/g embedded solution specifically targeting the mobile phone and consumer electronics markets. BlueCore features in over 60 per cent of all qualified Bluetooth enabled products and modules listed on the Bluetooth website with industry leaders including Apple, Dell, IBM, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Panasonic, RIM, Sharp, Sony and Toshiba using BlueCore devices in their range of Bluetooth products.
CSR has its headquarters and offices in Cambridge, UK, and offices in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, India, France, Denmark, Sweden and both Texas and Detroit in the USA.
More information can be found at www.csr.com