3i is selling its stake in supplier of 3G mobile communications technology company UbiNetics to Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR), the international short-range wireless company, which 3i backed in 1999 and floated on the London Stock Exchange in April 2004. 3i retains a stake in the floated business.
The £48m acquisition represents an 80% IRR for 3i in less than 18 months. 3i led a $26m investment in UbiNetics in February 2004, which at the time was the largest technology financing deal in Europe since 2002.
As the founding venture capital investor in both businesses, 3i made the initial introductions, which led to CSR’s acquisition of the UbiNetics business.
Laurence Garrett, partner venture capital at 3i, said: “The sale of UbiNetics to CSR marks a new trend in VC investing. 3i’s knowledge of CSR and its roadmap made us realise that the UbiNetics handset business would be a fantastic fit for CSR, making the deal a real win-win situation. We remain a substantial investor in CSR and have genuine belief in what the management team are creating.”
The deal also builds on 3i’s strong track record in Cambridge through its investments in: Datanomic, Cachelogic, Domantis, Metalysis and others as well as successful exits: UbiNetics, Arakis, Trigenix and CSR. 3i’s total investment in the region currently stands at over £75m.