Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

Berlin/San Francisco — Apple has agreed to buy a portion of chip supplier Dialog Semiconductor’s business in a $600m deal, the two companies said on Thursday, expanding the iPhone maker’s chip operations in Europe.

Since the first iPhones a decade ago, Apple has used Dialog power management chips to help its devices manage battery life. Under the deal, Apple is buying patents, a team of about 300 engineers (most of which already worked on chips for Apple devices), and Dialog offices in Britain, Italy and Germany.

Dialog said its 2018 revenue would not be affected and it would continue shipments of products in production to Apple.

For now, the deal settles questions about future relations between Apple and Dialog, whose shares tumbled this year when it said Apple planned to use chips from another supplier, which was widely believed to be Apple itself.

Half of the deal’s value, or about $300m, is cash for the Dialog engineers and offices and the other $300m is pre-payment to Dialog for supplying chips over the next three years, the companies said. Dialog said in a statement that it would continue to deliver chips to other customers, focusing on the automotive and internet-of-things markets, among others.

“This transaction re-affirms our long-standing relationship with Apple, and demonstrates the value of the strong business and technologies we have built at Dialog,” Dialog CEO Jalal Bagherli said in the statement.

The deal represents an expansion of Apple’s chip design operations, which kicked into high gear in 2010 when the company released its first custom processor for the iPad and iPhone.

Apple is buying about 16% of Dialog’s workforce. Apple said the acquired employees would stay in Europe and would report to Johny Srouji, the company’s senior vice-president of hardware technologies who oversees Apple’s chip design efforts.

Apple already has chip design centres in Munich, Germany and St Albans, Britain. The deal will see Apple acquire four more from Dialog, in Livorno in Italy, Swindon in Britain, and Nabern and Neuaubing in Germany. Dialog said Qatalyst Partners was acting as financial adviser and Linklaters was acting as its legal counsel. 

Reuters