The Tri-Counties is set to lose one of its larger publicly traded firms following the March 18 announcement that Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. had agreed to be sold to Microsemi Corp. for $389 million in cash.
The deal values Vitesse at $5.28 per share, a premium of 32 percent over the stock’s 30-day average closing price. But in afternoon trading, shares had shot up 37 percent to $5.33 — greater than the price Microsemi paid.
The Camarillo-based company has been fighting for profitability as it brings its integrated circuits technology into the Internet of things age. But the company recorded an annual loss per share of $0.06 and quarterly revenue growth of -8.6 percent in its most recent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The deal’s terms include what is known as a go-shop provision, under which Vitesse has until April 8 to solicit a superior counteroffer, but such a scenario seems unlikely. In a statement announcing the sale, Chris Gardner, CEO of Vitesse, said “Microsemi will be able to leverage Vitesse’s Ethernet technology and capabilities further into the communications market and has the scale to implement the adoption of our industrial IoT strategy.”
Microsemi, based in Aliso Viejo, is known largely as a supplier of semiconductor and circuit products to the military. In the press release, company CEO James Peterson said Vitesse’s technology will complement its suite of products and “accelerate growth with differentiated technology in emerging markets,” while Vitesse will benefit from the larger firm’s scale and infrastructure.