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6 July, 2015 - 15:18 By Tony Quested

Qualcomm pays $50m for Nujira – could ip.access be next?

Tim Haynes

Qualcomm has paid around $50 million for Cambridge chip company Nujira, which appears to have been shut down.

Business Weekly understands that CEO Tim Haynes (pictured above) has left and that Qualcomm will be making other redundancies after cherry picking the key technicians behind Nujira’s Envelope Tracking technology for smartphones.

Roadblocks across the home page of Nujira’s website direct people to an info@ email address while the main telephone line invites callers to leave a message and then says this is not possible because the mail box is full and cannot take any more messages.

The company name also appears to have been stripped from the serviced office accommodation company roll call at Cambourne Business Park.

Business Weekly has been told by sources close to Nujira that the company had threatened to sue Qualcomm for alleged IP infringement and was invited to take a hike!

Qualcomm’s acquisition of the business renders all future arguments over IP issues totally irrelevant.

The same BW sources on the Nujira deal have also speculated that Qualcomm may make a third Cambridge acquisition – ip.access, the  leaders in 2G, 3G & 4G end-to-end small cell solutions for global Tier 1 & Tier 2 operators.

Qualcomm is set to complete the $2.5 billion acquisition of Cambridge wireless company CSR by the end of this summer.

Snapping up Nujira, which specialises in envelope tracking technology, has looked to be on the cards for some while. In 2013, Qualcomm became the first company to ship a chip with such technology, which it claimed to be the industry’s first for 3G and 4G LTE mobile devices.

Nujira has 240 patents and earlier this year raised $20 million to support production of its Coolteq chips, fund continued development of its long term product roadmap and open a new design centre in Santa Clara in Silicon Valley.

Each of the existing angel and major investors participated in the round including Hermann Hauser’s Amadeus Capital Partners, Climate Change Capital, Environmental Technologies Fund, SAM Private Equity and NES Partners.

Investec Bank also introduced new investors to the company including GAM – on behalf of its GAM Star Technology strategy – and Investec as well as other institutional and high net worth clients.

Without the $20m April lifeline, Nujira could have gone bust, according to results filed at Company House this spring for the year to December 31, 2014.

Nujira lost £21.2m in two years. The loss for last year after tax was £9.6m – down from a loss the previous year of £11.6m. Revenue crashed 66 per cent in the last year to £357.1k.

The directors’ report said that £12.2m gross was raised in March 2014 and another £0.7m the following month. But it warned that current cash would only be sufficient until the middle of Q4 2015.

It then raised $20m this April, taking the amount it has raised in 13 years of business to approximately $92m but the prospect of the major investors following on for a future bailout were remote in the extreme.

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