Marvell in the land of milk and honey

Contact: Brenon Daly, Gilad Nass

Having already handed over some shekels for Israeli companies in the past, Marvell Technology Group has reportedly gone on another shopping trip in the country. Israeli newspapers reported recently that Marvell has acquired Iamba Networks in a scrap sale. (Iamba, an optical semiconductor company, has its headquarters in Cupertino, California, but maintains a large R&D presence in Israel.) Reports put the purchase price of Iamba, which raised some $30m in funding, at $10m.

The pickup of Iamba, which Marvell declined to confirm, marks the company’s third purchase in Israel in recent years. In February 2003, Marvell paid $50m for Radlan Computer Communications. But Marvell’s big deal in the country came in late-2000, when it used a slug of its freshly minted IPO shares to buy Galileo Technology in a transaction initially valued at $2.7bn.

By the time the Galileo acquisition closed in January 2001, however, Marvell shares had lost more than half of their value. In fact, Marvell shares (on a split-adjusted basis) are currently trading only slightly above where they were when the company inked the Galileo purchase. Marvell shares closed at $5.09 on Tuesday, valuing the company at just slightly more than 1x its trailing sales.