Blogs & Comment

Tundra Semiconductor: Another Canadian tech firm disappears

It’s official: Tundra Sem conductorwill be acquired by Integrated Device Technology ( Nasdaq: IDTI), a larger semiconductor company based in San Jose, Calif. Shareholder approvedthe $120.8-million all-cash deal, which surpasses by some 40% the cash-and-shares price offered in a friendly bid earlier this year by Gennum Corp., a smaller Burlington, Ont.-based chip component designer.
IDT will likely reduce operations at Ottawa-based Tundra significantly. Tundra, which has about 130 employees in Ottawa and another 100 in Wisconsin, was founded in 1995 as a spin-off from Terence Matthews’ Newbridge Networks (itself acquired by Alcatel in 2000 for $10.4 billion, which lead to hundreds of layoffs). As of Feb. 1, Tundra also had $63.4 million in cash and short-term investments on its balance sheet.
So, scratch another company off our Tech 100 list, the 2009 versionof which was released just last weekTundra ranked 28th, with a market capitalization, as of May 22, of $120 million.
According to the Ottawa Citizen, chairman and founding CEO Adam Chowaniec is disappointed by this end for Tundra. As a vocal defender of the Canadian tech industry, he had hoped Tundra and Gennum would join forces to gain scale in a globally struggling chip sector. But once Tundra was put in play, it was money, not nationalism, that won out.
“This is not just about Tundra,” Mr. Chowaniec said . “We will see more companies go, particularly when the economy starts to turn, because U.S. companies have much stronger balance sheets than Canadian companies. They will be all over us.” (Credit: Canwest News Service)
Feature story in Canadian Business about Gennums initial Mar. 19 bid for Tundra.
April 20, 2009blog post on Gennums sweetened bid.
April 27, 2009blog post on IDTs rival offer.
April 30, 2009blog post on Gennum withdrawing its bid.