ARM set to acquire Sansa Security for $85m

ARM may make the company, which develops mobile and flash memory security solutions, into its Israel development center.

As reported in Globes: Chip giant ARM is in advanced negotiations to acquire Israeli company Sansa Security (formerly Discretix Technologies), located in Kfar Netter. The price is estimated at $75-85 million.

The Israeli company has developed security solutions for cellular devices and flash memory. According to the IVC database, Sansa Security has raised $32 million since it was founded in 2000, meaning that the investors will make back about double their money. Prominent investors in the company over the years include the Sequoia Capital), Accel Partners, Genesis Partners, Pitango Venture Capital, and Poalim Ventures funds.

Negotiations between the parties are in the advanced stages, and the acquisition agreement may be signed in the coming weeks, if all the remaining problems are solved. If this occurs, ARM may decide to make the company its development center in Israel, thereby establishing an initial presence there, or to close the company down. ARM’s market cap on Nasdaq is $25 billion.

The two companies have worked together on various projects in the past, one of which was Samsung’s flagship device, the Galaxy S3. As reported by “Globes” at the time, the South Korean telephone manufacturer installed the security technology of Discretix (as it was known before it changed its name last October) in order to facilitate encoded access to HD video applications and television broadcasts. The solution was integrated with ARM’s security technology.

Gal Salomon, David Deitcher, and Limor Albaz founded Discretix in 2000. Salomon was company CEO for the first 10 years, before deciding to cross the lines and become a partner in Pitango in 2010, with Pitango investing in Discretix. He was appointed chairman of Discretix, and Coby Sella was appointed CEO.

After 15 years of doing business, Discretix was working with leading chip and mobile companies, including Intel, Motorola, and others, and the founders had big plans for the company’s future. The company began making a profit in 2005, and the fact that its last financing round was completed in late 2006 shows that its revenue and profits kept it afloat for quite a few years.

At the same time, in a “Globes” interview following his company’s selection as one of “Globes'” most promising startups, then-CEO Salomon said that his company’s intentions were greater than its sales, while its return for the investors was relatively low. “I don’t know when we’ll hold an offering, but an IPO is starting to look realistic,” Salomon said back in October 2007.

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