Sony Set to Buy Israeli Chip Maker Altair for $220 Million

Agreement due to be signed in the next few weeks in one of the few Japanese acquisitions of Israeli companies.

Pedestrians are reflected in a logo of Sony Corp outside its showroom in Tokyo, Japan, June 23, 2015.

The Japanese electronics giant Sony is reported to have agreed to buy the Israeli startup Altair Semiconductors, which makes semiconductors for fourth-generation mobile devices, for $220 million. 

Neither side has reported the sale, but TheMarker has learned that an agreement will be signed in the next few weeks. If it goes through, it will be the first major acquisition ever by Sony in Israel and one of the few by a Japanese company. 

Sony is expected to retain and expand Altair’s staff in Israel and turn it into a research and development center. For Altair’s investors, which include SanDisk Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, BRM Capital, ETV Capital SA, Giza Venture Capital, Jerusalem Venture Partners, Jerusalem Global Ventures, and Pacific Technology Partners, the exit won’t be bringing a spectacular return. 

Altair has annual revenues of about $45 million and has raised $134 million since it was formed in 2005.