Bahrain investment bank buys into Open Silicon

Unicorn Investment Bank buys 75% stake in custom microchip company

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By  Mark Sutton Published  December 24, 2007

Bahrain's Unicorn Investment Bank has announced a $190m deal to acquire a 75% equity stake in California-based custom microchip designer and manufacturer Open Silicon.

The investment in Open Silicon, which specialises in Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) for consumer electronics and computers, will fund the company's growth, including global expansion, according to a company statement.

Dr. Naveed Sherwani, co-founder, CEO and president of Open-Silicon, said: "We are delighted to partner with Unicorn to fulfil our business plan and future growth strategies. Open-Silicon has established a solid reputation for providing cost-effective, predictable and reliable custom microchip solutions, and our partnership with Unicorn will help support the next phase of growth. We are excited at the opportunity that Unicorn's involvement offers to our customers, partners and suppliers."

The deal marks the second such investment in silicon chip manufacturing by a Gulf-based institution, following Mubadala's investment of $608m in AMD in November.

Aamir Khan, managing director of Global Private Equity at Unicorn, said: "Unicorn has been following developments at Open-Silicon with interest for several years. The company has managed to build a differentiated and successful business model and is a clear market leader in the fabless space. We believe that semi-conductors will be the cement of future technological infrastructure growth. We look forward to working with Open-Silicon's highly experienced and respected management team to support the company's future global growth."

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