Apple to buy part of supplier Dialog in $600m deal

Customers in an Apple store at Grand Central Station in New York. (Reuters)
Updated 11 October 2018
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Apple to buy part of supplier Dialog in $600m deal

  • Dialog’s shares rose by 34 percent in Frankfurt as the deal settles questions about future relations between Apple and Dialog
  • Since the first iPhones a decade ago, Apple has used Dialog power-management chips to manage their battery life

SAN FRANCISCO: Apple is to buy part of Dialog Semiconductor Plc’s business in a $600 million deal, expanding the iPhone maker’s chip operations in Europe and securing the German-listed company’s role as a supplier to the US tech group.
Dialog’s shares rose by 34 percent in Frankfurt early yesterday as the deal settles questions about future relations between Apple and Dialog, whose stock tumbled earlier this year when it said Apple planned to use chips from another supplier.
The acquisition is unusual for Apple, which rarely does such deals, and is larger than previous transactions. Apple bought Israel’s PrimeSense, creator of the facial recognition application used to unlock newer iPhones, for roughly $350 million in 2013.
Since the first iPhones a decade ago, Apple has used Dialog power-management chips to manage their battery life. Under the deal, Apple is buying patents, a team of about 300 engineers, most of whom already worked on chips for Apple devices, and Dialog offices in Britain, Italy and Germany.
Dialog said its 2018 revenue would not be affected and it would continue shipments of existing main power management integrated circuits (PMICs) to Apple. It expects to sell current and future generations of so-called sub-PMICs to Apple.
“We are not selling our PMIC business,” CEO Jalal Bagherli told analysts.
After the deal, Dialog expects Apple to account for 35-40 percent of its total revenues in 2022. That is down from around 75 percent in the current year. Headcount will fall to 1,800. The Anglo-German chipmaker also said it would begin a share buyback program for up to 10 percent of its stock following its next quarterly trading update.
Other chip designers in Europe have struggled to manage their relationship with Apple due to its sheer scale. Britain’s Imagination Technologies ended up being sold to a Chinese-backed fund last year after losing Apple as a client.
Shares in Austria’s AMS, which competes with Dialog in areas such as power-management chips, fell 3.8 percent.
Half of the deal’s value, or about $300 million, is cash for the Dialog engineers and offices and the other $300 million is pre-payment to Dialog for supplying chips over the next three years, the companies said. Dialog added that it would continue to deliver chips to other customers, focusing on the automotive and Internet-of-things markets, among others.
It forecast that its sub-PMIC business would achieve compound annual growth rates of 30-35 percent between 2018 and 2022. Its AMS, Connectivity and Automotive & Industrial business would grow at a 10-15 percent rate.
The deal represents an expansion of Apple’s chip design operations, which kicked into high gear in 2010 when the company released its first custom processor for the iPad and iPhone.


Libya’s National Oil against paying ‘ransom’ to reopen El Sharara field

Updated 14 December 2018
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Libya’s National Oil against paying ‘ransom’ to reopen El Sharara field

  • Ransom payment would set dangerous precedent
  • NOC declared force majeure on exports on Monday

BENGHAZI: Libya’s state-owned National Oil Corp. (NOC) said it was against paying a ransom to an armed group that has halted crude production at the country’s largest oilfield.
“Any attempt to pay a ransom to the armed militia which shut down El Sharara (oilfield) would set a dangerous precedent that would threaten the recovery of the Libyan economy,” NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in a statement on the company’s website.
NOC on Monday declared force majeure on exports from the 315,000-barrels-per-day oilfield after it was seized at the weekend by a local militia group.
The nearby El-Feel oilfield, which uses the same power supply as El Sharara, was still producing normally, a spokesman for NOC said, without giving an output figure. The field usually pumps around 70,000 bpd.
Since 2013 Libya has faced a wave of blockages of oilfields and export terminals by armed groups and civilians trying to press the country’s weak state into concessions.
Officials have tended to end such action by paying off protesters who demand to be added to the public payroll.
At El Sharara, in southern Libya, a mix of state-paid guards, civilians and tribesmen have occupied the field, camping there since Saturday, protesters and oil workers said. The protesters work in shifts, with some going home at night.
NOC has evacuated some staff by plane, engineers at the oilfield said. A number of sub-stations away from the main field have been vacated and equipment removed.
The occupiers are divided, with members of the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) indicating they would end the blockade in return for a quick cash payment, oil workers say. The PFG has demanded more men be added to the public payroll.
The tribesmen have asked for long-term development funds, which might take time.
Libya is run by two competing, weak governments. Armed groups, tribesmen and normal Libyans tend to vent their anger about high inflation and a lack of infrastructure on the NOC, which they see as a cash cow booking billions of dollars in oil and gas revenues annually.