A British semiconductor company that supplies chips to Apple said Monday it is acquiring Silicon Valley’s Atmel in a $4.6 billion deal that strengthens both companies to compete for business in the coming Internet of Things.
The acquisition has a smaller Dialog Semiconductor, based in the United Kingdom with 1,500 worldwide employees, buying Atmel, based in San Jose with 5,200 global employees, for more than Dialog’s market value. Dialog is issuing new shares and borrowing to finance the purchase.
The deal is something of a surprise, said Mark Hung of Gartner. Atmel was known to be for sale, but either a Chinese company or a larger American chip maker was expected to be the buyer.