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Samsung nabs 21 patents, future technology in £200 million deal with UK chip maker CSR

Samsung this morning sealed a deal to buy future mobile connectivity and location technologies from British chip designer and manufacturer CSR, in a transaction worth £198 million in cash.

The agreement stands to beef up the Korean tech giant's patent portfolio and also includes a further investment of £21.9 million to acquire a 4.9 per cent stake in the UK-based company, according to a statement issued by CSR earlier today.

Specifically, the deal transfers 21 US patents and their international equivalents to Samsung. CSR said that it now intends to focus on development in growth markets, outlining voice and music, automotive infotainment, indoors location, imaging, and Bluetooth Smart as key areas.

Joep van Beurden, CEO of CSR, ventured that the deal strengthened both companies' position in key segments and would "unlock material value" from his shareholders – in other words, that they could look forward to a sweet payout, with over £180 million of the deal expected to be returned to the company's coffers.

"This transaction will accelerate our transformation into a higher gross margin platform company operating in attractive growth markets where we have a leading market position. I believe that under Samsung's ownership the handset operations will be in better position to prosper in the global handset market," he said.

CSR's most recent successes lie in the audio tech sector, where its technology is employed by luxury headphones like those manufactured by Sennheiser and the Beats by Dr Dre range.

While the deal seems obviously beneficial from a future standpoint, it is likely to be the patent acquisitions that are of most immediate interest to Samsung, who is currently locked in a bitter global legal war with rival firm Apple related to patents for key devices like the Nexus 7 and the Galaxy Tab 10.1.