Sierra Wireless, Semtech confirm they're in talks over US$1.2B acquisition offer

Deal would see B.C. tech firm bought out by California semiconductor company

An engineer at Sierra Wireless' research and development facility in Richmond puts some of the company’s machine-to-machine communications technology to the test | submitted

Sierra Wireless Inc. (TSX:SW; Nasdaq:SWIR) has confirmed it’s in advanced discussions with Semtech Corp. (NASDAQ: SMTC) that would see the former acquired for US$1.2 billion.

“No assurance can be given that the company will determine to continue such discussions or enter into any definitive agreement regarding any transaction or, if executed, whether any such transaction would be consummated,” Sierra Wireless said in a Tuesday press release.

The Richmond, B.C., company is best known for its wireless communications design and manufacturing expertise. It is one of B.C.’s largest homegrown tech employers, with more than 400 workers based in the province.

Sierra Wireless confirmed early Tuesday Semtech had offered US$31 a share as part of the deal — a premium on the US$24.66 it was trading at on the Nasdaq early Monday before Bloomberg first reported the acquisition talks.

The offer values Sierra Wireless at about US$1.2 billion.

And the acquisition talks come almost exactly one year after California-based CEO Phil Brace was recruited to take over the top job.

Semtech, also based in California, is a supplier of semiconductors. The low supply of these computer chips has caused significant supply chain disruptions across the globe, affecting everything from the availability of new vehicles to consumer electronics such as game consoles.

Both Sierra Wireless and Semtech said in nearly identical press releases they have no plans to make any further announcements about the deal until they enter into a binding agreement.