Woz and former Apple execs buy Jazz Semiconductor

Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak and two other former company executives have acquired processor manufacturing company Jazz Semiconductor.

Jazz Semiconductor announced that it has entered into a merger agreement with Acquicor Technology Inc. under which Jazz will merge with a wholly owned subsidiary of Acquicor in an all-cash transaction valued at $260 million, subject to adjustment based on Jazz’s working capital and for possible future contingent payments. Following the merger, Jazz will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Acquicor and will continue to operate as Jazz Semiconductor. Completion of the merger is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2007.

Completion of the merger is expected to provide a diversified stockholder base and to facilitate the management team’s long-term goal of growing the company through access to capital and broader exposure through access to public markets. Jazz Semiconductor will no longer pursue its initial public offering plans as a result of the merger because Acquicor is already a publicly traded company.

Jazz Semiconductor was initially formed upon the contribution to Jazz of Newport Fab, LLC by Conexant Systems Inc., together with a $52 million cash investment in Jazz by The Carlyle Group for a controlling interest. The Carlyle Group invested in Jazz to facilitate the company’s transition from a captive manufacturing facility within Conexant to an independent semiconductor foundry. This transition has largely been completed and has resulted in over 300 design wins with over 95 new customers.

Acquicor, run by Wozniak, former Apple CEO Gil Amelio and former Apple exec Ellen Hancock, is focused on acquiring businesses with technologies that can be positioned advantageously in the market and seeks to assist these companies in capitalizing on market opportunities. Acquicor was formed to lend its management skills and technology expertise to the task of growing the businesses in which it invests.

Acquicor has indicated that the merged company will continue to focus on the specialty foundry business model that has enabled Jazz Semiconductor’s success to date. Following the merger, Shu Li will continue as chief executive officer of Jazz Semiconductor and Gil Amelio will continue as chief executive officer of Acquicor.

Founded in 2002, Jazz Semiconductor offers process technologies for the manufacture of highly integrated analog and mixed-signal semiconductor devices. Jazz Semiconductor’s headquarters and its manufacturing facility are located in Newport Beach, California and the company currently supports customers such as Skyworks Solutions, Inc., Conexant Systems, Inc., Marvell Technology Group, Ltd., RF Micro Devices, Inc., Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., and Texas Instruments. Jazz Semiconductor maintains manufacturing partnerships with HuaHong NEC Electronics Company (HHNEC) and Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (ASMC) in Shanghai, China.

“This merger reinforces Jazz Semiconductor’s long-term strategic focus on a successful specialty foundry business model,” said Shu Li, president and chief executive officer of Jazz, in the press release. ‘The experience the Acquicor team brings to Jazz underscores our commitment to being a leading technology company.”

Jazz Semiconductor is an independent wafer foundry primarily focused on specialty CMOS process technologies, including High Voltage CMOS, SiGe BiCMOS and RFCMOS for the manufacture of highly integrated analog and mixed-signal semiconductor devices. The company’s specialty process technologies are designed for customers who seek to produce analog and mixed-signal semiconductor devices that are smaller and more highly integrated, power-efficient, feature-rich and cost-effective than those produced using standard process technologies. Jazz customers target the wireless and high-speed wireline communications, consumer electronics, automotive and industrial end markets. Jazz’s executive offices and its U.S. wafer fabrication facilities are located in Newport Beach, CA.

For more information: http://www.jazzsemi.com

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Woz raises $150 million with Acquicor IPO – March 15, 2006
Apple alumni Amelio, Hancock, Woz start Acquicor Technology ‘blank check’ company – February 15, 2006

9 Comments

  1. Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak and two other former company executives…

    I know who they are. And I’m about to shock you all. Can you say…Bill and Michael? As in…Gates and Dell?

    Woz, Gates, Dell…the three humans that will try to take me down. Yet…will fail.

    (chuckling) I fart in their general direction.

  2. You can knock Gil, but before Apple, he ran a simiconductor business quite successfully. At least he’s staying in his area of expertise.

    I wonder if Jazz might get involved with burst-mode receiver stuff for FTTx applications? It’s area that is expanding and requires some of that black-magic analog stuff.

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