Cirrus announced its intention to acquire Wolfson in April 2014, and secured the agreement of Wolfson's Board and shareholders, with an offer of £2.35 per share in cash, implying an enterprise value of £278million, or approximately $467 million. A final value for the deal is quoted at £291million.
Wolfson Microelectronics was originally a spin-out from Edinburgh University’s Wolfson Microelectronics Institute, in 1984, founded by David Milne and Jim Reid. In its early phase the company focussed on ASIC designs, later taking the expertise it had gained in mixed-signal design into design of its own range of ASSPs. These are particularly targeted at audio and multi-media functions, securing high-profile design wins for high-quality audio functions in high-volume smartphone, tablet and other portable devices. Wolfson has also developed a MEMS design capability with which it builds MEMS microphones.
In the April announcement, the respective companies stated;
“Wolfson has a rich history of audio innovation, a broad catalogue of audio products and a first-class customer list,” said Jason Rhode, Cirrus Logic president and chief executive officer. “This acquisition strengthens Cirrus Logic’s core business as a leader in audio signal processing components, enhances our ability to differentiate our products with software, and adds new product categories such as MEMS microphones to our portfolio.”
“The Board of Wolfson believes that this is an attractive offer for Wolfson shareholders,” said Michael Ruettger, Chairman of the Board of Wolfson Microelectronics. “We believe this reflects the hard work that [CEO] Mike Hickey and his team have put into building Wolfson as a leader in the supply of high performance Audio Hubs and MEMS microphones to the consumer electronics market. Together with Cirrus Logic, we believe this will create a powerful platform for future growth, above and beyond our standalone potential.”
Cirrus Logic; www.cirrus.com