Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Micron Sells Aptina, Finally

Yahoo, Wall Street Journal: Micron announced that it has signed an agreement to sell a 65% of its interest in Aptina to Riverwood Capital and TPG Capital. The exact price couldn't be learned, but Micron said it would book a loss of about $100 million as result of the transaction. Micron will retain a 35% minority stake in the independent, privately held company. As part of the arrangement with Riverwood and TPG, Micron is expected to continue manufacturing Aptina's image sensors at a facility in Italy.

Riverwood and TPG aren't expected to borrow any money for the deal. Such an arrangement holds appeal for the seller because acquisitions that rely upon financing run a higher risk of not closing. The transaction is expected to be completed in the next 60 days.

11 comments:

  1. Welcome back to the future Aptina. Welcome to the world of photons, electrons and pennies. Wishing you all the best !

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  2. I think we can expect an Aptina IPO as soon as the economy turns around, especially if Omnivision continues to perform well.

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  3. 100 millions lost of micron will not be last one for Aptina operation. Hope Mircon can get paycheck for 35% stake with IPO

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  4. Aptina's revenue was higher than Omnivision in the last quarter despite shipping a smaller volume. Did Aptina actually make a net profit last quarter?

    Can anyone guess when the investors are going to cash out?

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  5. Can anyone guess when the investors are going to cash out?
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    How well do the new investor's understand image sensors? This is not a typical semiconductor thing, and I wonder if they really understand that. Maybe they are hoping for a quick flip if the economy improves, but if it doesn't they could really get an education from the school of hard knocks.

    Is there anyone at Aptina how can manage things, or are they going to need to bring in someone from the outside?

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  6. > Did Aptina actually make a net profit last quarter?

    No. I do not think anybody in the mainstream CIS industry made a profit recently.

    > How well do the new investor's understand image sensors?

    Nic Brathwaite from Riverwood is Aptina's CEO for more than a year. After all that time, I'd guess he knows what he does.

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  7. A great new day for Aptina. This should be exciting for the entire industry as the leader starts over with no debt and all the fab access it needs with a motived supplier owning 35% of Aptina, MU should be very accomodating with pricing.

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  8. For some reason, this whole thing reminds me of Hamlet. Was there any bad blood between Nic and current Micron Execs?

    "MU should be very accomodating with pricing"

    I personally don't think this will happen. Micron will still try to make at least 40% gross on these parts. TSMC can make 35%~40% off OV, I don't see Micron doing it in the condition they are in.

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  9. Didn't the private equity guys buy the fab in Italy along with the rest of Aptina?

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  10. > Didn't the private equity guys buy the fab in Italy along with the rest of Aptina?

    No, the fab remains in Micron's hands.

    > TSMC can make 35%~40% off OV...

    The rumor is that Omnivision pays wafer price of about $600 for 0.11um CIS FSI process. I doubt that TSMC has 35% margin on that.

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  11. The rumor is that Omnivision pays wafer price of about $600 for 0.11um CIS FSI process. I doubt that TSMC has 35% margin on that.
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    The sell prices I have heard for 8" 0.11um at TSMC are around US$800~850 per wafer. This price is for people like OV and the Himax conglomerate (Himax Imaging) that have the volume to book an entire fab.

    US$600 is very close to the cost price of producing an 8" wafer. The cost is something like US$550 per wafer.

    The TSMC people like OV a lot, but I don't think they like them so much that they would only make 10%. It would be a net loss for TSMC at those margins

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