Japanese electronics giant Sony (NYSE: SNE) is set to buy Israeli company Altair Semiconductor for $200 million, according to Globes. Established in 2005, and based in Hod Hasharon, the company has raised $135 million to date.
Altair Semiconductor is the leading provider of single-mode LTE solutions, playing a pivotal role in realizing the vision of the Internet of Things (IoT).
The company was founded by former Texas Instruments executives CEO Oded Melamed, CTO Yigal Bitran and VP Marketing Eran Eshed. Each of the founders holds a 0.5% stake in the company and will earn $1 million. The other major investors are Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) (21%), BRM Capital (18%), Bessemer Venture Partners (14%), Giza Venture Capital (13%), and Walden Israel (7%), said Globes reporter Tali Tsipori. Altair has 200 employees, most of them in Israel.
Altair had required massive investment but with the industry in a major period of uncertainty, the stakeholders preferred to sell, bringing in returns of nearly double their investment. Altair has been partnering with Sony for many years as a chip supplier, commented Tsipori.
By offering LTE-only semiconductor solutions, unhampered by the high cost of 3G silicon, bill-of-materials and patent royalties, Altair has created disruption in the ecosystem, and enabled the deployment of millions of 4G-connected consumer devices at price points previously thought impossible.
As the IoT expands beyond consumer devices to include all types of connected “things,” from wearables to smart homes, cities, cars, utilities and more, Altair’s comprehensive portfolio of high performance, ultra-low-power silicon solutions enable these connections.
Headquartered in Israel, Altair Semiconductor has six worldwide offices, including four in Asia: China, Taiwan, Japan, and India.