Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Microsemi makes bid for Zarlink Semiconductor

IRVINE, Calif., July 20, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Microsemi Corporation (Nasdaq:MSCC), a leading provider of semiconductor solutions differentiated by power, security, reliability and performance, announced today that it has made a proposal to the board of directors of Zarlink Semiconductor Inc. ("Zarlink" or "the Company") (TSX:ZL) to acquire all of the outstanding shares of the Company for CAD $3.35 per share in cash.

The proposed transaction has a total equity value of USD $548.7 million based on a fully diluted share count and represents a 40 percent premium to Zarlink's share price as of July 19, 2011, and a 43 percent premium to Zarlink's trailing 30 day average share price. The CAD $3.35 proposal exceeds every Zarlink closing share price over the last five years. Microsemi'sproposal recognizes the recent efforts of Zarlink and its employees to stabilize its business, and provides the opportunity for Zarlink to benefit from Microsemi's management expertise, technology leadership, and sales platform.

Microsemi today has sent a letter to Zarlink's board of directors outlining its proposal (full text of letter is below). This proposal follows several earlier attempts by Microsemi to engage in private discussions with Zarlink, including two written proposals to Zarlink's board of directors. Both proposals, including the most recent one made on June 17, 2011 proposing an all-cash purchase price per share in a negotiated transaction of between CAD $3.25 and $3.55, were rejected by Zarlink without discussion.

"We remain interested in engaging with Zarlink's board to complete a transaction that delivers value to shareholders," said James J. Peterson, Microsemi president and chief executive officer. "We are committed to building and strengthening its business, and believe our proposal provides a superior outcome for Zarlink's shareholders, employees, customers, and the local economy."

The acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive to Microsemi's earnings per share even before the realization of any synergies. Morgan Stanley Senior Funding, Inc. andMicrosemi have executed a financing commitment letter to ensure that the required funds are available to finance the acquisition on an all-cash basis, and Microsemi has retained Stifel Nicolaus Weisel and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC as its financial advisors.

Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, Zarlink designs mixed-signal semiconductor products for a range of communications and medical applications. Zarlink offers more than 900 active products, and ships approximately 100 million ICs per year to over 400 customers.

"We believe this proposed acquisition provides considerable growth opportunities, and greatly benefits the shareholders of both companies," added Peterson. "Zarlink's shareholders will receive a substantial premium, in cash, and without execution or macroeconomic risk, while Microsemi's shareholders will benefit from the integration of this highly accretive opportunity."

Microsemi today has also provided updated guidance for the June quarter. Net sales are expected to be at the high end of Microsemi's revenue guidance. Microsemi will report its results on July 28.

Below is the text of the letter that was sent earlier today to the board of directors of Zarlink.

July 20, 2011

Zarlink Semiconductor Inc.
400 March Road
Ottawa, Ontario K2K 3H4

Attn: Dr. Adam Chowaniec, Chairman of the Board of Directors

Dear Dr. Chowaniec:

Microsemi Corporation is pleased to make a proposal to acquire Zarlink Semiconductor, Inc. ("Zarlink" or "the Company") (TSX: ZL) for CAD $3.35 in cash per share. This represents a premium of 40% to Zarlink's closing stock price as of July 19, 2011, a 43% premium to Zarlink's average closing stock price for the 30 days prior to July 20, 2011 and exceeds every price at which Zarlink's stock has traded during the past five years. We believe this proposal provides your shareholders a far superior economic alternative to the risk adjusted outcomes associated with the Company's standalone prospects. We hope and expect the board will act in the best interests of Zarlink and its shareholders and will agree to enter into private negotiations with us towards a definitive agreement in support of our proposed transaction. Your continued refusal to discuss our proposal compels us to directly inform your shareholders of our attractive proposal.

As you know, we have been trying to engage in private discussions with Zarlink for more than six months. Our first approach to Zarlink was made on January 12, 2011. This approach was met with a series of delays on your end, which we accepted in good faith in pursuit of a friendly transaction. On May 20, 2011, we put forth a written proposal to acquire Zarlink for CAD $3.00 per share in cash, and expressly stated our willingness to consider increasing our proposal if we were able to learn more about Zarlink's potential value through a due diligence process. After 16 days and without the benefit of any substantive dialogue with us, your board rejected this proposal. On June 17, 2011, we sought once more to engage your board, and increased our proposal to a range of CAD $3.25 to $3.55 per share in cash, with the upper end subject to our ability to meet, perform diligence, and confirm certain assumptions. This offer represented a 41% to 54% premium to your closing price on June 17, 2011. Once again, your board rejected this proposal, without discussion with us and without offering any reasons as to why our proposal did not warrant further discussion. Due to the added costs associated with pursuing this transaction in a public manner and the inability for Microsemi to perform diligence, we are prepared today to acquire Zarlink for CAD $3.35 per share. Please note, this represents a premium to the low end of our previous range. Our proposal has been unanimously approved by our Board of Directors.

Morgan Stanley Senior Funding, Inc. and Microsemi have executed a financing commitment letter to ensure that the required funds are available to finance the acquisition on an all-cash basis, and we have retained Stifel Nicolaus Weisel and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC as our financial advisors. In addition, our Canadian and U.S. legal advisors have analyzed the transaction and do not believe there are regulatory risks that would prevent successful completion in a timely manner.

We recognize the recent actions Zarlink has taken to divest non-core assets and strengthen its business focus. We believe these efforts have been reflected in Zarlink's share price and the premium in our offer. At the same time, we believe Zarlink's ability to create real value through improvements in its underlying business fundamentals will be much more difficult and can be greatly assisted by joining forces with Microsemi.

Microsemi is committed to achieving a transaction that provides a superior outcome for Zarlink's shareholders, employees, customers, and other stakeholders. Your employees are highly valued and are vital to our interest in Zarlink. While you have reduced your workforce recently, we are committed to investing in Zarlink's business to capture future growth opportunities.

Microsemi has a strong track record of growth through strategic acquisitions and a disciplined post-merger integration process allowing for minimal disruption in operations. Over the past 5 years, our highly experienced team has completed 14 acquisitions for total transaction consideration of more than $1.1 billion.

Microsemi is steadfast in its pursuit of a transaction with Zarlink. Your refusal to meet with us delays the ability of your shareholders to receive a substantial all-cash premium. We would prefer to proceed through friendly negotiation; however, please know we stand ready to take all necessary actions to complete this transaction.

We welcome the opportunity to meet with you or any special committee of independent directors in order to negotiate and consummate a transaction, and reiterate our potential to increase our offer to the higher end of our range if given the opportunity to perform diligence and confirm certain assumptions.


James J. Peterson
President and Chief Executive Officer