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Silicon Valley's Tessera Technologies buys Raleigh-based Ziptronix for $39 million

Saturday, Aug 29, 2015

Silicon Valley technology firm Tessera Technologies is acquiring Raleigh-based Ziptronix for $39 million in an all cash deal. The buyout means a big pay day for CEO Dan Donabedian and the rest of the six-person team, all of whom, Donabedian confirms, have equity in the company.

Tessera hopes its buy of the company will allow it to expand on its existing advanced packaging capabilities by adding a low-temperature wafer bonding technology platform to accelerate innovation in the semiconductor industry. The technology could become a mainstay in your next smartphone. Ziptronix’s lead product, ZiBond, has already been licensed to Sony Corporation. And the end result of that partnership is technology that can be used to make advanced image sensors – the computer chips that go into cameras in your smartphones. Ziptronix’s technology aims to allow the devices to be smaller and higher functioning than ever before.
“We’re the innovator of wafer bonding technology,” Donabedian says.

Donabedian says he’ll definitely stay on board at the company, and that day-to-day life won’t really change. Already, his team is hard at work integrating the team into the Tessera organization.

Ziptronix was founded in 2000 as a venture-backed spinoff of RTI International. The company sold its Morrisville development lab in 2013 and moved its remaining six employees to a small office off Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh.

Robert Andersen, CFO of Tessera, says the plan is to keep the majority of that handful of employees in Raleigh “for the foreseeable future.” Tessera reached out to Ziptronix, a company it had been familiar with for many years, he says. The deal took several months to finalize.

Earlier this month, Tessera reported $64.2 million in total revenues for the three months ending June 30. The company had $21.4 million in cash and cash equivalents and $410.5 million in short-term investments at the end of that time period.

Tesera shares closed Thursday at $33.40.

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