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Apple chip maker Imagination Technologies up for sale

Graphics specialist seeking buyer as Apple prepares to drop its services

UK-based chip manufacturer Imagination Technologies is putting itself up for sale after losing its biggest customer: Apple.

Imagination Technologies has provided graphics processors and other hardware for Apple devices since the earlier iPods, most notably contributing to the manufacture of iPhones and iPods.

However, Apple told the firm back in April that it would no longer need its services or designs as it intends to develop its own graphics chips, Reuters reports. Imagination's technology would be phased out within 15 months to two years.

The news caused Imagination's share price to plummet by 70%, and has no doubt caused concerns among other suppliers working with Apple. Imagination earned royalties for every Apple device sold, accounting for half of its revenue.

At the time, the UK firm doubted Apple would be able to replace its technology without violation Imagination patents, announcing it had started a "dispute resolution procedure" back in May.

Now the firm plans to put itself up for sale, with discussions reportedly already underway with prospective buyers.

"Imagination Technologies announces that over the last few weeks it has received interest from a number of parties for a potential acquisition of the whole group," the firm said.

"The board of Imagination has therefore decided to initiate a formal sale process for the group and is engaged in preliminary discussions with potential bidders."

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