Japan's Renesas to buy Altium for $9.1 billion

Japan's Renesas to buy Altium for $9.1 billion

Renesas CEO Hidetoshi Shibata (left) and Altium CEO Aram Mirkazemi (right).

Tokyo-headquartered Renesas Electronics Corporation has reached a deal to buy Australian-founded printed circuit board (PCB) design software group Altium (ASX: ALU) for $9.1 billion, representing a 34 per cent premium and a massive increase on the $5 billion Autodesk Inc (NASDAQ: ADSK) offer that Altium rejected in 2021.

Founded in 1985 by electronics designer Nick Martin who had been working at the University of Tasmania, Altium was originally called Protel Systems and listed on the ASX under that name in 1999 in a $46.5 million initial public offering (IPO).  

Two years later the group changed its name to Altium, and more than a decade later in 2012 Martin stepped aside from the group he had served as founder and CEO. In 2014 the headquarters was relocated to California, where the head office remains today for a company that is now a global market leader with the most popular PCB software tool in use.

Renesas' proposed acquisition at $68.50 per ALU share has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is expected to close in the second half of 2024, subject to approval from Altium shareholders and regulators.

"I strongly believe that electronics is the single most critical industry to building a smart and sustainable world. Renesas’s visionary leadership and commitment to making electronics accessible to all resonates strongly with Altium," says Altium CEO Aram Mirkazemi, who marked a decade of tenure in the role last month.

"Altium’s vision of industry transformation finds its fullest expression in service of this grand vision of Renesas.

"Having worked closely with Renesas as a partner for nearly two years, we are excited to be part of the Renesas team as we continue to successfully execute and grow."

Renesas claims the acquisition strongly aligns with its digitalisation strategy and represents the company’s "first significant step in bringing enhanced user experience and innovation at the system level for electronics system designers".

"Development processes continue to evolve and accelerate. With our Purpose 'To Make Our Lives Easier' in mind, our vision is to make electronics design accessible to the broader market to allow more innovation through a cloud-based platform,” says Renesas CEO Hidetoshi Shibata.

"Addition of Altium will enable us to deliver an integrated and open development platform, making it easier for businesses of all sizes and industries to build and scale their systems.

"We look forward to working with Altium’s talented team as we continue to invest and drive our combined platform to the next level of value for our customers."

Altium is one of the so-called WAAAX group of ASX-listed tech companies (an Australian equivalent of the US-listed FAANG stocks), with the other letters standing for WiseTech (ASX: WST), Appen (ASX: APX, now an ASX minnow), Afterpay (sold to Block) and Xero (ASX: XRO).

 

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