Knowles Acquires Microphone Design Assets from ams AG

December 23 2019, 01:10
Knowles Corporation, a market leader in advanced micro-acoustic, audio processing, and precision device solutions, announced it has acquired the MEMS microphone ASIC design business from Austrian company ams AG. The transaction includes intellectual property, rights to source ASIC wafers from multiple foundry partners, and the transfer of the ASIC design team, which will continue to be based in Switzerland.

“As voice has become a primary interface for mobile, ear, and IoT applications, we expect this acquisition to result in an immediate financial benefit from vertical integration and further enhance our leading position in the MEMS microphone market,” says Jeffrey Niew, president and chief executive officer of Knowles. “In addition to bringing in world-class mixed signal circuit design talent and IP, this transaction will provide significant cost synergies. We plan to leverage this ASIC design team and IP to develop innovative new products, further broadening our industry-leading portfolio of MEMS microphones.”

The purchase price of $58 million was paid from cash on hand. Knowles expects the acquisition to be accretive to non-GAAP diluted earnings per share beginning in the first quarter of 2020, and intends to provide additional details regarding this acquisition during its Q4 earnings call.

Founded in 1946 and headquartered in Itasca, Illinois, Knowles is a global organization with employees in 11 countries. Knowles uses its leading position in MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) microphones and strong capabilities in audio processing technologies to optimize audio systems and improve the user experience in mobile, ear, and IoT applications. Knowles is also the leader in acoustic components, high-end capacitors, and mmWave RF solutions for a diverse set of markets.

Regarding this divestiture, ams stated that, "continuing its strategic focus on sensor solutions and in view of significant future opportunities in optical technologies, ams will divest its industry-leading high performance interface ASIC design business for MEMS microphones which has worked in close partnership with Knowles for a number of years to create bespoke audio sensor interfaces."

“As we drive ams towards becoming a Sensor Solutions and Photonics leader, we have taken this step to secure a strong investment for the excellent ams IP and the expertise of the ams team in MEMS microphone applications,” says Chris Feige, Head of Ear Solutions at ams. “With its market-leading understanding from design to execution in advanced micro-acoustics and audio processing and building on our established relationship, Knowles is an excellent partner for this transaction.” |
related items