Freescale to buy processor business

Apr 8, 2014
Austin American Statesman

Austin-based Freescale Semiconductor Ltd. said Monday that it plans purchase a line of processors that company officials say will help the chipmaker expand into new product lines


The transaction, financial terms of which were not disclosed, is expected to close in the second quarter


The embedded multicore processors are the property of M/A-COM Technology Solutions Holdings — known in the industry as MACOM — which acquired them from Mindspeed Technologies after purchasing the semiconductor supplier last year


Tom Deitrich, senior vice president and general manager for Freescale’s digital networking product group, said the processors are used in a variety of network-attached storage devices such as data centers


Also Monday, Bloomberg News reported that Freescale is debating whether to reprice a term loan when the cost of doing so drops in September, and that the company might refinance bonds next year as it seeks to further cut interest costs


Freescale could seek a lower rate on $798 million of loans that pay at least 5 percent when the debt no longer costs an extra 1 cent on the dollar to reprice starting Sept. 11, company treasurer Steven Goel told Bloomberg


The company cut the cost of $2.7 billion of its other term loans in March to pay about 4.25 percent, saving $20 million in interest expense, Goel said


Freescale will evaluate whether it wants to refinance about $852 million of bonds when early payment costs decline next year, Goel said


Freescale employs about 5,000 people in Austin and is a leading supplier of chips for the automotive and digital network industries. The company has about 17,000 employees worldwide


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