Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Qualcomm to boost healthcare play with $2.5 billion CSR takeover

Iain Morris
October 22, 2014
US chipmaker Qualcomm has agreed to pay $2.5 billion to acquire the UK’s CSR as it looks to address Internet of Things opportunities in the healthcare and automotive sectors.

CSR (Cambridge, UK) has been focused on the development of Bluetooth technology and its expertise in this area could help Qualcomm expand into the market for wearable devices that allow users to monitor their health and fitness.

Analysts have said the two companies complement each other technologically, with Qualcomm (San Diego, CA, USA) keen to play a bigger role in the nascent Internet of Things market and particularly in the healthcare sector, where its Qualcomm Life subsidiary is active.

Established in 2011, Qualcomm Life is trying to be a pioneer in the field of connected medical devices, which are able to remotely transmit data about a patient’s health to doctors and clinicians for analysis.

Such technology could help to massively reduce healthcare costs and improve the quality of life for patients with chronic diseases – giving them far more control of their own wellbeing than was previously possible.

Qualcomm’s venture fund has also made investments in a number of healthcare technology start-ups, including AliveCor (San Francisco, CA, USA), Sotera Wireless (San Diego, CA, USA) and wearables company Fitbit (San Francisco, CA, USA).

Through a tie-up with WebMD (New York City, NY, USA), Qualcomm is also working on developing platform technology that will give patients access to and control over their health information.

In a statement, Qualcomm said the acquisition of CSR would complement its current offerings by adding products, channels and customers in the important Internet of Everything market.

“The addition of CSR’s technology leadership in Bluetooth, Bluetooth Smart and audio processing will strengthen Qualcomm’s position in providing critical solutions that drive the rapid growth of the Internet of Everything, including business areas such as portable audio, automotive and wearable devices,” said Steve Mollenkopf, the chief executive of Qualcomm.

“Combining CSR’s highly advanced offering of connectivity technologies with a strong track record of success in these areas will unlock new opportunities for growth,” added Mollenkopf. “We look forward to working with the innovative CSR team globally and further strengthening our technology presence in Cambridge and the UK.

The takeover is still subject to regulatory and shareholder approval but Qualcomm expects to close the deal by the end of the summer of 2015.

It also said it expects the acquisition to be accretive to non-GAAP earnings per share in fiscal 2016 – the first full year of combined operations.
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