Comms chips

Sequans Preps $110M IPO

After last year's rumors, now it's official: Paris-based WiMax and Long Term Evolution (LTE) chipmaker Sequans Communications plans to raise $110 million through an initial public offering. (See LTE Watch: Sequans to IPO?)

The company, founded in 2003, has made a name for itself as a WiMax semiconductor specialist and it's now making its move into the LTE chipset arena. (See Sequans Gets VC for LTE.)

Sequans' biggest customer is device maker High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498), accounting for 66 percent of revenues. Indeed, Sequans' chips power WiMax devices from Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) such as the HTC EVO 4G, EVO Shift, EVO View 4G tablet, and the EVO 3D smartphone. (See Sequans Powers WiMax Smartphone.)

The company recorded total revenue of $68.5 million in 2010 and a loss of $2.7 million.

Why this matters
News of the IPO is further evidence that the action is really heating up in the wireless chip market. Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) snapped up Beceem Communications Inc. in October last year, which is likely to make Sequans, as well as Altair Semiconductor , look interesting as potential buys. That followed Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC)'s purchase of Infineon Technologies AG (NYSE/Frankfurt: IFX)'s wireless business in August. (See MWC 2011: Betting on the Next Chip M&A Deal, Broadcom to Buy a 4G Strategy Via Beceem, Why Broadcom Bought Beceem, Intel Looks to Infineon for the Full SOC, Contacts and Intel’s Infineon Acquisition: All About 3G.)

Sequans, one of Light Reading's Leading Lights finalists in the private company of the year category, is using its strong position in the WiMax semiconductor market to catapult into LTE. It has been developing Long Term Evolution Time Division Duplex (LTE TDD) chipsets and also has a dual-mode WiMax/TDD LTE product that will make it well-positioned to attract those WiMax operators looking to migrate to LTE.

For more
For the latest on the LTE and WiMax chipset scene and Sequans' latest activities, see these stories:

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:09:36 PM
re: Sequans Preps $110M IPO

$110M wouldn't price Sequans out of being acquired. (Provigent just went for $313M.) Looks like dealmaking is back.

Altair was Dan Jones' runner-up bet for an acquisition, and Qualcomm and Freescale had the best odds as acquirers. Some combination of these guys must be talking now -- or maybe every combination...


joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:09:32 PM
re: Sequans Preps $110M IPO

Sticking to my guns on this one. Sequans or Altair are the next companies to be bought in this field.



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