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Synopsys to Acquire Atrenta

Synopsys to Acquire Atrenta
by Paul McLellan on 06-07-2015 at 11:17 pm

 I was at the DAC kickoff this evening in the Intercontinental Hotel. I was talking to Dave DeMaria, the senior marketing guy at Synopsys and he told me of a couple of minor press releases due to hit the wire tomorrow morning, didn’t sound important enough to be blogworthy. Aart was there too although I didn’t speak to him. Then at 8pm (11pm eastern) Synopsys put out something much more interesting, a press release that they are acquiring Atrenta, subject to the usual caveats. In particular there will be a waiting period due to HSR review since Atrenta is over the threshold even though it is a private company (when we sold Compass to Avant! we had to go through HSR filing too).

There have been lots of rumors about potential suitors for Atrenta, not just recently but over the years. Since they operate at the RTL and IP level there is clearly potential for other companies than the usual suspects of Cadence, Synopsys and Mentor. Two that have been much-rumored were ANSYS (who acquired Apache a few years ago) and Dassault (who have some process management solutions and acquired Tuscany Design Automation [disclosure: I was on the board] right at the end of 2012). I’ve never heard it mentioned but another possible candidate might have been TSMC who have used Atrenta’s SpyGlass solution as their “signoff” tool for IP qualification as part of their OIP ecosystem.

The financial details of the deal were not disclosed. But for sure it was not a fire sale. For a start, the current threshold for HSR filing, the so-called “$50M threshold”, is actually $76.3M this year so we know that the price was at least that high.

However, since there were multiple companies rumored to be interested I think it is logical to speculate that the price will be at a reasonable multiple on their revenue, itself rumored to be running in the $60M range. At 3.5X revenue that would be $210M so I’ll go with that as my guess. Final answer.

Of course Synopsys plans to integrate the Atrenta technology into their verification continuum, especially SpyGlass which has wide acceptance. Manoj Ghandi, who is the GM of verification, adds a bit of color (not much, to be honest):Atrenta’s demonstrated leadership in static and formal technologies is recognized throughout the EDA industry, and its technology is used by design and verification teams around the world. Synopsys expects to leverage this strong technology to further improve our Verification Continuum platform to address continually increasing verification challenges, and to support our ongoing R&D collaborations with customers in both verification and implementation.

Atrenta will be at DAC on booth #1732. Interestingly they just announced the date of their user conference in October. Of course that may take place, since under the rules for an acquisition like this the two companies are not really able to work together until the deal is closed (on the basis that if the deal is struck down then everything should go back to exactly how it was before). However, I think it is more likely that it will just get folded into SNUG.

The Synopsys press release is here.


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