Apple piles trouble on Imagination

July 10, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
Apple has disputed Imagination's account of when it was informed that Apple planned to drop the graphics IP licensor and set up a GPU design office near to Imagination's headquarters.

The disagreement over the timing could land Imagination in further trouble as it is obliged to tell investors under stock-exchange rules, as soon as an event occurs that is material the stock price.

According to a statement sent to Bloomberg on Friday, July 7, Apple first told Imagination it would not be licensing Imagination's latest technology in late 2015. Apple said that in 2016 it told Imagination it was initiating a clause in the licensing agreement to pay a lower royalty rate for using a smaller amount of intellectual property. Apple then told Imagination on February 9, that it was ending the relationship totally and would cease all royalty payments as early as 2018. Imagination went public about discussion with Apple over licensing on April 3.

"After lengthy discussions, we advised them on February 9 that we expected to wind down our licensing agreement since we need unique and differentiating IP for our products," Apple reportedly said in the statement.

That disclosure sent Imagination's share price tumbling from about £2.75 to about £1.00 and has forced CEO Andrew Heath to put divisions of Imagination and the whole company up for sale.

And on top of all that, Apple has rented 22,500 square feet of office space in St. Albans just a few miles from Imagination's headquarters in Kings Langley, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph . This positions Apple well to poach more of the staff that it hasn't already recruited from Imagination. eeNews reportd that Apple was recruiting Imagination staff in a concerted way back in March 2017 (see Apple hires group of UK GPU engineers ).

Related links and articles:

www.imgtec.com

Bloomberg report

Daily Telegraph story

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Apple hires group of UK GPU engineers

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