Teradyne snatches up robot maker MiR in $272M deal

Teradyne snatches up robot maker MiR in 2M deal
Teradyne, a prosaic-sounding but flush company that provides automated testing equipment for industrial applications, has acquired the Danish robotics company MiR for an eye-popping $148 million, with $124 million on the table after meeting performance goals.
MiR, which despite the lowercase “i” stands for Mobile Industrial Robots, does what you might guess. Founded in 2013, the company has grown steadily and had a huge 2017, tripling its revenues to $12 million after its latest robot, the MiR200, received high marks from customers.
MiR’s robots are of the warehouse sort, wheeled little autonomous fellows that can lift and pull pallets, boxes and so on. They look a bit like the little ones that are always underfoot in Star Wars movies. It’s a natural fit for Teradyne, especially with the latter’s recent purchase of the well-known Universal Robotics in a $350 million deal in 2015.
Testing loads of electronics and components may be a dry business, but it’s a booming one, because the companies that test faster ship faster. Anytime efficiencies can be made in the process, be it warehouse logistics or assisting expert humans in sensitive procedures, one can be sure a company will be willing to pay for them.
Teradyne also noted (the Robot Report points out) that both companies take a modern approach to robots and how they interact and must be trained by people — the old paradigm of robotics specialists having to carefully program these things doesn’t scale well, and both UR and MiR were forward-thinking enough to improve that pain point.
The plan is, of course, to take MiR’s successful technology global, hopefully recreating its success on a larger scale.
“My main focus is to get our mobile robots out to the entire world,” said MiR CSO and founder Niels Jul Jacobsen in the press release announcing the acquisition. “With Teradyne as the owner, we will have strong backing to ensure MiR’s continued growth in the global market.”

Source: Gadgets – techcrunch

Foxconn buys peripheral maker Belkin for $866M

Foxconn buys peripheral maker Belkin for 6M
Foxconn, best known for manufacturing practically everything in the world, has just announced the purchase of Belkin, the PC peripherals company, for $866 million in cash. That certainly makes it one of the larger consumer electronics acquisitions in recent memory.
You probably know Belkin for its various lines of accessories, peripherals, and assorted consumer electronics; Linksys, surely the most recognizable router brand, is a subsidiary. Wemo and Phyn might also ring a bell.
The purchase is likely aimed at giving Foxconn a foothold of its own in the peripherals and networked devices market. Belkin’s CEO and founder (35 years on), Chet Pipkin, will continue to operate the company as a wholly owned subsidiary and may join Foxconn’s management team.
No indication was given that Belkin’s companies would change much, either in makeup or in product lineup. I asked both companies for more details, and got a polite no comment in record time.
Interestingly, the FCC just today announced that it would soon propose that it would ban spending on companies that “pose a national security threat.” Huawei and ZTE were the obvious (but unnamed) targets of the proposed rule, but now Belkin and Linksys may also be included.

Source: Gadgets – techcrunch

Broadcom gives up and drops Qualcomm bid

Broadcom gives up and drops Qualcomm bid
It was already a complicated deal, but it now looks like Broadcom’s plans to take over Qualcomm are done. The company announced that it would respect Donald Trump’s block and drop its Qualcomm bid.
“Although we are disappointed with this outcome, Broadcom will comply with the order,” Broadcom said in a statement.
At one point, Broadcom was willing to pay $121 billion to acquire Qualcomm. It would have been the biggest tech acquisition of all time and a risky deal. But Qualcomm rejected the offer (without closing the door entirely).
After months of discussions, some Qualcomm shareholders became impatient. It led to a board shakeup with Executive Chairman Dr. Paul E. Jacobs leaving the board. Retrospectively, resisting Broadcom’s offer may have been the smartest move given the regulatory risks of the deal.
Trump’s administration said that Qualcomm’s acquisition represented a security risk. Broadcom is currently based in Singapore, and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States didn’t want to let Qualcomm become a foreign company.
Broadcom has mentioned plans to relocate its headquarters to the U.S. And Reuters confirmed that it would still move to the U.S.
Qualcomm has been manufacturing systems-on-a-chip for Android phones as well as modems and other communications chips. In addition to this semiconductor business, Qualcomm earns a significant portion of its revenue from patent licensing deals. But Apple, South Korea and others don’t want to pay those fees anymore.
Broadcom also produces a ton of chips that you can find in all sorts of electronics devices, from networking to modems, GPUs and more. Chances are that all the devices that you have around you have one or multiple Qualcomm and Broadcom chips.

Source: Gadgets – techcrunch