Atmel to Buy Newport Media, Adding to Chipmakers’ Spree

Atmel Corp. (ATML), a maker of chips for cars and home appliances, agreed to acquire Newport Media Inc. for $140 million in cash to gain wireless-radio capabilities, joining an industry buying spree.

The price for closely held Newport, which makes chips that help provide Wi-Fi signals and tuners for televisions, may rise by as much as $30 million if certain revenue goals are met, San Jose, California-based Atmel said today in a statement.

Almost $11 billion in North American semiconductor transactions were announced in the first half of 2014, making it the busiest year for industry deals since 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Atmel, like other chipmakers, is taking aim at the market known as the Internet of things, betting on future demand for semiconductors that will add Web connections and advanced functions to everyday items.

Newport Media, based in Lake Forest, California, had $43 million in revenue in 2013. Atmel expects to complete the transaction in the third quarter, and the purchase will add to earnings in the second half of next year, the company said.

Atmel shares fell 2.3 percent to $9.29 at the close in New York. The stock has gained 19 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ian King in San Francisco at ianking@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Pui-Wing Tam at ptam13@bloomberg.net Jillian Ward, John Lear

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