October 8, 2007 – Spansion Inc. says it is acquiring longtime flash memory partner Saifun Semiconductors Ltd. in a deal valued at roughly $368 million in stock (about $135M will be netted to Saifun shareholders, who will ultimately hold ~15% of Spansion).
The main thrust of the deal is to consolidate Saifun’s NROM IP with Spansion’s MirrorBit technology, giving Spansion new business to license NROM, and also pushing MirrorBit beyond NOR into NAND, DRAM, and systems-on-chip segments.
Spansion has licensed NROM memory from Israel-based Saifun since 2002, a partnership that has included design services e.g. the MirrorBit Quad and SPI product families. Bringing Saifun in-house gives Spansion over 150 MirrorBit technology and design experts to help accelerate its product development roadmap — and also removes its Saifun licensing and royalty payments, helping boost operating margins.
For Saifun, coming under Spansion’s roof will “take our licensing business to the next level” by combining MirrorBit with NROM’s IP licensing model, to help customers more quickly commercialize new flash memory technology, stated Boaz Eitan, CEO of Saifun Semiconductor. “We are certain that the addition of the Spansion IP and manufacturing know-how will only accelerate all programs,” he added.