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10 September, 2020 - 13:25 By Tony Quested

DisplayLink Cambridge jobs cull expected

US company Synaptics has confirmed that the axe will fall on an unspecified number of jobs in Cambridge following its acquisition of DisplayLink.

The company has not come back to Business Weekly on information emanating from within DisplayLink that as many as a third of the staff could lose their jobs.

DisplayLink employs around 300 people but not all of these are at the Science Park end of the transatlantic operation.

Synaptics paid $305 million cash but as DisplayLink has $102m net cash the full value of the deal can be fairly placed at some $407m. 

Asked about Cambridge redundancies, a Synaptics spokesman told Business Weekly: “Synaptics is excited about the future of the DisplayLink business and we see the combination of our world-class engineering teams creating many new opportunities for the newly merged company. 

“As the two companies merge together we acknowledge that redundancies have been created. We are evaluating those across the combined company’s businesses and global locations. 

“The DisplayLink team has a strong track record of success and we very much look forward to building upon this together.”

As Business Weekly reported when first breaking the news of the Synaptics swoop, DisplayLink is a world leading semiconductor and software technology company and effected one of the most remarkable turnarounds in Cambridge corporate history.

The deal is officially expected to close in Synaptics’ first quarter of fiscal year 2021. It expects the transaction to add approximately $94m in annualised sales and be immediately accretive to non-GAAP gross margins, non-GAAP operating margins and non-GAAP earnings post-close. 

DisplayLink will continue to operate in Cambridge but obviously with considerably reduced numbers, it would appear.

DisplayLink transformed itself from the brink of penury in its formative years to a globally influential technology innovator with a holding company incorporated in Washington State, a mothership in Palo Alto and key operations in the UK, Europe and Asia – including Taiwan and Japan.

The business was founded in 2003 as Newnham Research, changing its name to DisplayLink in 2006.

At one stage it faced a near death experience and radical management changes were effected: DisplayLink has had six CEOs and five CFOs in its 17 year history.

Over time the company has received $80 million in four rounds of venture capital financing from Atlas Venture, Balderton Capital, Draper Esprit, DAG Ventures and Cipio Partners.

DisplayLink’s technology has enabled many of the home working and video conferencing solutions that we have come to rely on to remain productive during the coronavirus lockdown. 

Companies such as Dell, HP, Lenovo and Logitech use DisplayLink’s silicon devices in their docking station and video conferencing product ranges.

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