Apple Supplier Imagination Technologies Puts Itself Up for Sale

By Rory Gallivan Features Dow Jones Newswires

Imagination Technologies Group PLC, a small U.K. technology firm which has been one of Apple Inc.'s important suppliers, said Thursday it has put itself up for sale after receiving a number of takeover approaches.

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Imagination's stock rose sharply Thursday though the shares remain below where they were trading earlier this year. In April, Imagination said Apple would stop using the chip designer's technology in its devices, sending shares tumbling more than 70%.

Imagination said at the time that Apple was working on its own designs for graphic processing units, the technology Imagination supplied to the iPhone maker. GPUs power videos and other animations on smartphones, computers and other gadgets.

An intellectual-property-based business worth about $500 million in market value, Imagination doesn't manufacture chips itself.

The firm had separately said it was pursuing a formal dispute-resolution process with Apple. Management had previously said it didn't believe Apple could design GPUs without infringing on Imagination's intellectual property.

It was unclear how those talks were proceeding. Imagination said Thursday it remains in dispute with Apple.

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Officials at Apple weren't immediately available for comment.

Imagination said it "has received interest from a number of parties for a potential acquisition of the whole group." It said it has "decided to initiate a formal sale process for the group and is engaged in preliminary discussions with potential bidders." The firm didn't provide details.

The company also said it has received proposals about buying two of its non-graphics businesses which it put on the block in May.

Write to Rory Gallivan at rory.gallivan@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 22, 2017 07:30 ET (11:30 GMT)