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Kennet leads €12 million financing of Chipidea

May 16, 2005,
by volcanic

London – Kennet Venture Partners Ltd (“Kennet”), a leading international venture capital firm focused on the technology sector, has led a €12.0m financing round for Chipidea, an analog and mixed-signal semiconductor solutions provider. Vision Capital also invested in this financing round, as did existing investors, BCP Capital and BPI/Fundo Caravela.

Chipidea has developed one of the largest analog and mixed-signal technology portfolios in the world, ranging from precision single-function blocks to full analog sub-systems for communications, multimedia and power management applications. Founded in 1997, Chipidea now employs over 180 people based in Europe, Asia and North America. The company’s headquarters is Lisbon, Portugal.

Chipidea is profitable and achieved revenues of $18m in 2004, almost double that of the previous year. The company’s key products target fast-growing market segments such as wireless communications, digital media and consumer electronics.

Historically Chipidea has been funded with a combination of reinvested profits and a modest amount of external capital, provided by two industrial investors and two financial investors, both leading Portuguese institutions – BCP Capital and BPI/Fundo Caravela. Chipidea will use the proceeds of this financing to further expand its IP business and to launch a number of its own semiconductor products.

Michael Elias, Managing Director of Kennet, commented: “Jose Franca and his colleagues have built a world class semiconductor IP business using very little external capital. Kennet specializes in the providing expansion financing to capital-efficient business with global opportunities. We are therefore delighted at the opportunity to invest in Chipidea and help take it to it next level of development.”

Jose Franca, co-founder and CEO of Chipidea, commented: “We are delighted to welcome Kennet and Vision as new financial partners to Chipidea, as well as the further investment from our existing investors BCP Capital and BPI/Fundo Caravela. This investment will enable us to consolidate our leadership position in the analog and mixed signal market.”

About Kennet Venture Partners

Kennet Venture Partners is a leading transatlantic venture capital firm which invests in growth companies providing information technology products and business services that leverage information technology. Kennet provides expansion capital to firms that want to accelerate growth and build exceptional shareholder value in partnership with an experienced investor. Kennet Venture Partners acts as an advisor to Kennet I LP, a Jersey limited partnership and to Kennet II LP, a Guernsey limited partnership. Kennet Venture Partners is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

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About Chipidea

Chipidea is the world’s number one analog/mixed-signal merchant technology supplier targeting fast-growing market segments like wireless communications, digital media and consumer electronics. Chipidea supports blue-chip customers across the globe, has an impeccable reputation for delivering high-quality products and is known for its reliable execution. Chipidea licenses its technology to leading companies in these and other key markets, delivering everything from precision single-function blocks to full analog sub-systems. Chipidea employs 180 people in its research and development, and sales and marketing offices across Europe, Asia and North America.

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