Samsung to acquire CSR's mobile handset business for $310 million

South Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics today agreed to acquire UK-based chipmaker Cambridge Silicon Radio Plc's (CSR) mobile phone connectivity and location technology business for $310 million (£198 million), in order to beef up its patent portfolio.

The world's largest mobile handset maker will pay an additional $34.4 million for new stock of CSR at 223 pence per share. This would give it a 4.9 per cent stake in the Cambridge, England-based company.

The acquisition does not include CSR's existing handset connectivity and handset location products.

With Samsung fighting patent suits with rivals like Apple Inc, the acquisition will give it 21 US patents and their international versions, and a perpetual and global licence for CSR's remaining patents.

CSR is the world's 13th largest "fabless" semiconductor designer. It is a leading provider of multi-function semiconductor platforms for the automobile, camera, document imaging, low-energy connectivity, and wireless voice and music markets, as well as semiconductors for the handset and many other consumer electronics markets.

It was the first company to insert a Bluetooth radio on a mobile chip, and its location-tracking chip is used by Samsung on its Galaxy phones and tablets, while its audio technology has been used in headphones made by Sennheiser and HTC's `Beats by Dr Dre' as well as TV soundbars and speaker docking stations for MP3 players.