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June 22, 2017

UK chip designer Imagination Technologies up for sale amid Apple dispute

Apple dealt Imagination a major blow in April, revealing that it was planning to stop using the UK firm's chip technology.

By Ellie Burns

Imagination Technologies has put itself up for sale following a much publicised dispute with Apple, the company’s largest customer.

In April, shares in the UK chip designer more than halved when Apple announced it would stop using its products. Apple had been using the UK firm’s chip technology under a licensing agreement for its iPhones, iPads and iPods.

Imagination Technologies was once considered one the UK’s brightest tech prospects, but the blow dealt by Apple in April saw shares in the company tank to their lowest level since 2009.

As its biggest customer, Apple accounted for nearly half of Imagination’s annual revenues. In the year ending April 30 2016, the company’s business with Apple represented revenues of £60.7m of the total £120m. In this fiscal year, Apple is expected to represent revenues of £65m.

READ MORE: Shares in Imagination Technologies crash 70% as UK chip firm loses biggest customer Apple

According to reports, the tech giant informed Imagination that it had started work on its own graphics design, in order to reduce its reliance on Imagination tech over the next 15 to 24 months.

Imagination Technologies has already seen interest from potential buyers, according to the company, with the chip-maker beginning a formal sale process and beginning preliminary talks with potential bidders.

The sale process for the MIPS and Ensigma operations, which commenced on 4 May 2017, is progressing well and indicative proposals have been received for both businesses,” said the company in a statement.

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“Further to the announcement on 4 May 2017, Imagination remains in dispute with Apple Inc.

“Interested parties are invited to contact Rothschild (contact details below), who are assisting with the formal sale process and with the sale process for MIPS and Ensigma. Further announcements regarding timings for the formal sale process will be made when appropriate.”

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