Ceva makes US$10.9m capital gain on GloNav sale

1 May 2008

Semiconductor firm Ceva, which merged with Irish chip firm Parthus in 2002 and has offices in Ireland, has reported a Q1 capital gain of US$10.9m on the divestment of its equity in another Irish chip firm GloNav, which was sold for US$110m last year.

In December, GloNav, which Ceva and former Parthus chief executive Brian Long of Atlantic Bridge Ventures jointly invested in, was sold to NXP Semiconductors for US$110m.

GloNav, which has offices in Dublin, designs computer chips and subcontracts out their manufacture.

Atlantic Bridge and Ceva were able to quadruple their investment in GloNav. Ceva held 20pc of the company while Atlantic Bridge, which originally invested US$16.2m in the company, held 50pc of GloNav.

According to the latest results, Ceva had to record a tax expense of US$3.1m related to the divestment of its share in GloNav.

Ceva last year reported that it had to pay US$5.7m to terminate the lease of the former Parthus headquarters on Harcourt Street in Dublin. In its latest results, Ceva said it had to record a re-organisation expense of US$3.5m related to the lease’s termination.

Total revenue for Ceva in the first quarter was US$10.1m, up 30pc on last year, and the company reported a net income of US$5.5m compared to a net income of zero a year earlier.

During the quarter, Ceva said it concluded 10 new licence agreements, eight of which were for digital signal processing (DSP) cores and two related to the company’s satellite chip technology.

Three agreements signed in the first quarter related to digital media and entertainment propositions, in particular in relation to the company’s strategy to develop portable multimedia technology solutions exploiting the growth of internet video on content sites like YouTube.

“In the first quarter, we set new standards for both the company’s financial performance and the industry’s adoption of Ceva’s technologies,” explained Gideon Wertheizer, chief executive of Ceva. “Royalties came in at a record high, as has been the case for each of the last three quarters.

“The company also managed to generate overall positive cash flow of approximately US$9.1m during the quarter, mainly due to the divestment of our equity investment in GloNav to NXP Semiconductors, off-set by the one-time payment of approximately US$5.8m associated with the termination of the Harcourt lease.”

Werthheizer said that at the end of March, Ceva’s cash balances and marketable securities were US$85.5m.

By John Kennedy