UK internet-of-things chip firm CSR rejects takeover bid from US’s Microchip

CSR, the British chip design firm previously known as Cambridge Silicon Radio, has turned down a takeover bid from U.S. semiconductor outfit Microchip Technology.

[company]CSR[/company] was a pioneer in the Bluetooth space and a notable player in mobile connectivity, but the downward trajectories of big customers like Nokia and RIM forced it to sell off its mobile business to [company]Samsung[/company] a couple years ago. These days it’s concentrating on Bluetooth Smart, the low-energy standard for connecting wearables, cars and other internet-of-things devices, as well as modules for location tracking, audio and image processing, and Wi-Fi.

On Thursday, CSR responded to rumors of a possible sale that had sent its stock price up 25 percent in the morning. No deal, the company said.

The suitor was revealed as [company]Microchip[/company], which partnered with CSR just weeks ago on a new Bluetooth Smart module (pictured above) for fitness trackers, retail beacons and smart home appliances. CSR said:

The price proposed by Microchip has been rejected and the Board is considering its options for the company.

The sale rumors had pushed CSR up to a market valuation of just south of $2 billion, and the FT had reported the sale price was likely to be as much as $3 billion. Microchip will now need to make a firm bid by September 25th, or explicitly drop its takeover ambitions.