Back in April, it was reported that UK chip designer Imagination Technologies' share price had fallen by nearly 70 percent after its biggest customer – Apple – announced plans to stop using the firm’s tech within the next two years. Today, Imagination announced it had put itself up for sale.
Apple’s licensing agreement with Imagination stretched back to at least 2008. The iPhone maker owns more than 8 percent of the firm that it almost acquired last year. Thanks to royalties from its PowerVR graphics architecture found in iOS devices, Imagination gets around half its revenue from Apple - the Cupertino company paid £60.7 million (around $75.88 million) in royalties to Imagination last year.
But Apple’s decision to turn to in-house GPU development means it plans to stop using Imagination’s tech within the “next 15 to 24 months.” The announcement saw the British firm’s value plummet, and it has struggled to recover from the blow, though today's news resulted in shares jumping 20 percent. Other Apple suppliers are also said to be feeling the pressure.
"Imagination Technologies announces that over the last few weeks it has received interest from a number of parties for a potential acquisition of the whole group," it said.
"The board of Imagination has therefore decided to initiate a formal sale process for the group and is engaged in preliminary discussions with potential bidders."
Apple could face a lawsuit over its decision to develop its own chips. In April, Imagination said: “Apple has not presented any evidence to substantiate its assertion that it will no longer require Imagination's technology, without violating Imagination's patents, intellectual property and confidential information.” Last month, Imagination revealed it had started a dispute resolution procedure with Apple.
Additionally, Imagination announced the sale of its MIPS and Ensigma businesses in May. The company has revealed that indicative proposals had been received for both businesses.