Atmel to sell Smart Card units in France, United Kingdom

Friday, January 29, 2010

Atmel to sell Smart Card units in France, UK

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Atmel Corp. said Friday it is seeking to sell its Smart Card integrated circuits business in Rousset, France, and East Kilbride in the United Kingdom.

The computer chip component maker’s Smart Card business makes computer chips that go into such things as cable set-top boxes to control access to channels. Atmel also said it has decided not to sell its custom computer chips and aerospace businesses.

The three units are part of Atmel’s application specific integrated circuits, or ASIC, operations, which provide customer specific integrated circuits to companies. ASIC operations include a chip wafer fabrication plant in Rousset, France.

In December, Atmel said it has plans to sell the French plant to LFoundry GmbH, of Germany, for an undisclosed price.

The company is waiting for a decision from French employee representatives of the Works Council in Rousset on the plant’s sale, expected in the first quarter.

If the deal is approved, Atmel will ask its board for permission to enter into a definitive agreement with LFoundry.

Shares of Atmel, based in San Jose, Calif., fell 5 cents to $4.71 in afternoon trading.

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