Renesas Electronics Corp. agreed to buy U.S. chipmaker Intersil Corp. (Nasdaq: ISIL) for $3.2 billion, seeking to carve out a bigger role for itself as a provider of chips for automobiles as cars become loaded with more technology and add self-driving capabilities. Renesas is paying a 14 percent premium to Intersil’s closing price on Sept. 12, or $22.50 per share, according to a statement to the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Bunsei Kure, Renesas’s chief executive officer, has been cutting jobs, closing down factories and shifting focus to automotive customers, a segment that is already generating almost half of the company’s annual revenue. The company counts Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co. and Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) among its customers. Intersil’s product lineup includes semiconductors that manage battery voltage in hybrid and electric vehicles and operate on-board cameras and displays. In another recent similar deal, Infineon agreed to buy Cree Inc.’s Wolfspeed unit.