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Actel’s ‘smart fusion’ with Microsemi a top draw!

October 4, 2010

Yes, this one seems to be a top draw! It is indeed a very ‘smart fusion’! In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, this morning, Microsemi Corp. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Actel Corp.

Microsemi, a leading manufacturer of high performance analog mixed-signal ICs, high reliability semiconductors and RF subsystems, will acquire Actel for $20.88 per share through a cash tender offer.

Actel is a leading supplier of low-power, mixed-signal, and radiation-tolerant FPGAs serving the Mil/aero, industrial, communication, and consumer markets. It is a leader in the satellite and space markets due to its deep knowledge of radiation tolerance, space-level qualifications, and its long history of service excellence.

In a conference call today, James J. Peterson, Microsemi’s president and CEO, termed Actel as a perfect acquisition for Microsemi. Microsemi also sees lot of promise in Actel’s SmartFusion.

He said: “We believe the addition of Actel will deliver compelling synergies to Microsemi. Actel will bring the most widely-used mixed-signal, radiation tolerant FPGA products in the aerospace and defense markets today, and the company’s products will allow Microsemi to extend its growing system-level capabilities. As Microsemi continues to move up the value chain in offering its customers system solutions that are better, faster, and more-cost effective than they can build themselves, Actel’s highly-integrated solutions will be an integral component in enabling this growth.”

“The proposed acquisition of Actel by Microsemi will create a powerful combination,” said John C. East, Actel president and CEO. “I can think of no company more complementary and better equipped to take Actel’s solutions to new heights.”

John W. Hohener, executive VP and CFO, Microsemi, added that  terms of agreement have been unanimously approved by the boards of Microsemi and Actel.

The total transaction value is said to be approximately $430 million, net of Actel’s projected cash balance at closing. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the tender of a majority of the outstanding shares of Actel’s common stock and regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in Microsemi’s fiscal first quarter, ending January 2, 2011.

Microsemi expects significant synergies from this immediately accretive transaction. Based on current assumptions, It expects the acquisition to be $0.22 to $0.28 accretive in its first full calendar year ending December 2011.

For those who aren’t aware of SmartFusion, at this year’s Embedded World conference, Actel unveiled SmartFusion, the world’s first intelligent mixed signal FPGA.  Actel’s SmartFusion devices feature proven FPGA fabric, a complete MCU subsystem built around a hard ARM Cortex-M3 processor and programmable analog blocks on a flash process. Embedded designers can now easily build the system they want, with all the features they need, on a single chip.

Even Vin Ratford, senior vice president, worldwide marketing and business development, Xilinx, had agreed that introducing analog/mixed signal capabilities in FPGAs is a good idea.

SmartFusion is bound to generate lot of excitement. It’s game on! I am awaiting an intelligent mixed signal FPGA from either Altera or Xilinx, or both. For the moment, congratulations are due to Actel and Microsemi.

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