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Chip designer Transmeta up for sale

New licensing agreement with Intel reached

Processor designer Transmeta is looking for a buyer. Executives have enlisted investment bank Piper Jaffray & Co to act as the company's financial advisor during the sale process.

The announcement comes two months after Transmeta reached an agreement with Riley Investment Management, a fund that made an unsolicited offer to buy the low-power processor company earlier this year.

The July agreement between Transmeta and Riley averted a proxy battle for the company. The deal limited Riley to a 13 percent stake in Transmeta and nominated Riley chairman Bryant Riley to a seat on an expanded Transmeta board.

Transmeta specialises in low-power microprocessor designs and its LongRun and LongRun2 technologies are licensed to several chip makers, including Intel and Nvidia.

As part of the announcement that Transmeta wants to find a buyer, the company released details of a revised licensing agreement with Intel. Under terms of the settlement reached between the two companies last year, Intel was to pay $150m to Transmeta, followed by five annual payments of $20m between 2009 and 2013.

That payment schedule has been accelerated, with Intel agreeing to pay a lump sum of $91.5m before September 30 in lieu of the five annual payments. Transmeta also agreed to deliver "a copy of certain proprietary Transmeta computing technologies" to Intel with a non-exclusive license to use the technologies commercially.

Details of the technology licensed to Intel were not provided.


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