For a mature and giant industry growing at a few percent a year, the semiconductor industry remains active when it comes to the creation of new startups and the initial public offerings of young private companies. But just as those activities create new companies, acquisitions and mergers count that effect, consolidating the industry into fewer companies, according to a report by the Global Semiconductor Alliance.
So far this year, there has been less overall change for the industry, with a surge of deals in the summer that have now cooled off. For the first 11 months of 2011, 79 chip makers raised $988.2 million, down 16.3 percent from a year ago. And there were 98 semiconductor merger and acquisition deals announced so far this year, down 8.4 percent from a year ago.
The GSA said that in November, seven chip companies raised $22.2 million, the same amount as in October 2011. But the funding total was down 74 percent compared to a year ago. (However, three of the chip companies did not disclose funding this year, compared to one in October and three a year ago). In November, three chip makers went public — Cirtek Holdings Philippines (PSE: CHIPS), Intermolecular (NASDAQ: IMI) and InvenSense (NYSE: INVN). Cirtek raised $6.8 million in an IPO on Nov. 18; Intermolecular raised $96.5 million; and Invensense, a maker of gyro chips for the Nintendo Wii remote control, raised $75 million.
In November, the number of mergers and acquisitions announced decreased by two from the prior month to five. A year ago, there were 13 deals. November’s largest deal was Synopsys’ acquisition of Magma Design Automation for $507 million.
The biggest funding in November went to Amalfi Semiconductor, a maker of high-performance radio and mixed signal chips for cellular devices, raised $9.2 million. GaN Systems (a gallium nitride company) of Ottawa, Canada was the only company to raise a first round of investment in a financing led by Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital and Rockport Capital.