Innovision CEO Steps Aside as Acquisition by Broadcom Moves Forward

UK-based NFC technology company Innovision announced today its CEO, David Wollen, has left the company, as the acquisition of Innovision by U.S.-based chip maker Broadcom moves forward.

Broadcom, which has supplied wireless chips for Apple’s iPhone among other smartphones, announced its intention to buy Innovision in June, saying it sees NFC as a “valuable part of its wireless connectivity portfolio alongside other technologies, such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, FM and GPS."

Broadcom earlier this month announced that shareholders representing nearly 80% of Innovision’s shares had accepted its offer, which as announced, is 35 British pence (US 52 cents) per share. The cash offer, valued at a total $47.5 million, represented an 84.2% premium on Innovision’s share price. Broadcom said at the time of its announcement of its intent to buy Innovision that it expected the deal to close later this quarter. A Broadcom spokesman told NFC Times today that while conditions of the deal have been met, it will "still be a while until the acquisition is deemed final."

Innovision today said Wollen’s departure from the company was effective Friday. The company also said it would delist from the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange.

Wollen joined Innovision as CEO in 2006 from Renesas Technology Europe, where he headed the Japanese chip maker’s mobile and smart card units, among others. He also represented Innovision on the board of the NFC Forum trade group. He owns .08% of Innovision’s shares.

Wollen earlier told NFC Times the company believes handset makers introducing (higher-end) NFC models starting in 2012 or 2013 will no longer put standalone NFC chips inside their devices but will opt instead for “combo chips” supporting the various wireless technologies. That would reduce the cost of embedding an NFC modem in a handset to well below 50 U.S. cents, he said.

But incorporating NFC into combo wireless chipsets is a longer-term proposition. Despite development and licensing deals Innovision notched in 2009 and 2010 with six major semiconductor suppliers, including Broadcom, the company continued to lose money–including £2.9 million (US$4.4 million) for the year ending March 31, on revenue of £2 million. Innovision also makes NFC tags.

Broadcom, which had revenue of just under $4.5 billion in 2009, reportedly supplied Bluetooth and Wi-Fi combo chips for Apple’s iPad, introduced this year, as well as a chip combining Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and FM radio for the 2009 iPhone 3GS.

HEADLINE NEWS

UPDATED: OTI Gets Favorable Ruling in NFC Patent Infringement Case; Reports Continued Losses for 2014

Mar 31 2015

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – A U.S. district court judge has ruled that T-Mobile USA infringed an NFC patent held by Israel-based On Track Innovations.

Second Kiwi Bank Snubs SIMs for HCE with ANZ’s Planned NFC Launch; Bell ID Gets Nod as Vendor

Mar 31 2015

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Another major New Zealand bank has announced plans to launch NFC payments with host-card emulation, snubbing a joint venture set up to launch SIM-based NFC on the island nation.

Microsoft Jumps on HCE Bandwagon Though Meager Windows Market Share for Smartphones Mutes Impact

Mar 26 2015

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Windows 10 for phones, set to be released later this year, will support host card emulation, or HCE, based NFC payments, Microsoft revealed at a recent Windows event in China.

G&D Supplies HCE Technology for Commonwealth Bank HCE Service

Mar 25 2015

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Germany-based Giesecke & Devrient confirmed it is providing the host-card emulation technology for Commonwealth Bank’s commercial HCE launch this month of Tap & Pay from the bank’s Android-based mobile-banking app.

Identiv Plays Up IoT Tag Business, but Losses Continued in 2014

Identiv CEO Jason Hart sounded optimistic tones about the company’s NFC tag business, particularly in “Internet of Things” applications or tags for consumer goods, during a conference call last week to discuss Identiv’s fourth quarter and full year 2014 earnings, but investors responded with less optimism.

Gemalto Claims 25% of U.S. EMV Market; Seeks to Take Spotlight Off SIM

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – France-based Gemalto, which is keen to take the spotlight off its SIM business, projects EMV cards to represent perhaps the largest expected source of revenue growth in the coming year.

Square Acquires Payment Processing Tech Vendor Kili; May be Planning NFC mPOS, but Will it Keep DeviceFidelity?

Mar 13 2015

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – UPDATED: Mobile point-of-sale device supplier Square has acquired payment processing component vendor Kili Technology, the same vendor that purchased NFC accessory vendor DeviceFidelity in November, but Square does not plan to keep DeviceFidelity, a source connected with Square told NFC Times.

Samsung Pay Unpacked: Details on Samsung’s Planned Business Model, Architecture and Unannounced Banks Revealed

NFC Times Exclusive – NFC Times has learned new details about how Samsung intends to make money from its planned payments service, Samsung Pay; as well as the technology architecture the OEM will use and the identity of two unannounced banks, along with a new category of issuer that is planning to participate.

Analysis: Gemalto Abandons Hard-Line Stance on NFC in Embracing Tokenization, Supporting HCE

NFC Times Exclusive – The public relations debacle Gemalto faced following revelations last month that U.S. and UK spy agencies had stolen keys from its SIM cards is not the only problem the France-based vendor has had to deal with regarding SIMs.

People on the Move: MasterCard Makes Executive Changes to Mobile Team

NFC Times Exclusive – MasterCard Worldwide has named James Anderson group executive for platforms, a key position inside the payment network, which is seeking to secure its role in the ecosystem as mobile payments start to gather steam, NFC Times has learned.

Commonwealth Bank Launching HCE; Other Australian Banks Expected to Follow

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – One of Australia’s largest banks, Commonwealth Bank, is launching NFC payments from its mobile-banking app using host-card emulation, having earlier tried embedded secure elements, contactless stickers and iPhone attachments.

Android Pay Expected to Support HCE, Targeted to Encourage More Third-Party Payments Apps

NFC Times Exclusive Insight ­– Google’s recently announced API for NFC payments applications, Android Pay, is expected to support apps using host card emulation, or HCE, but also likely will support storage of keys on hardware.