Shares in Imagination Technologies, which lost 70 percent of their value following a dispute with its biggest customer Apple, have soared after the British company put itself up for sale. Ivor Bennett reports.
If you're customer of Apple, the chances are you're a customer of Imagination Technologies too. At least that is for now. The UK firm has been supplying graphics chips to Apple ever since the iPod first appeared. But in April, Apple told them that within two years, they'd no longer be needed. Accounting for over half of its revenues, the decision wiped off 70 percent of Imagination's share price in one day. The decision to sell, analysts say, is the only option. SOUNDBITE (English) THINK MARKETS, CHIEF MARKET ANALYST, NAEEM ASLAM, SAYING: "It's just a survival game right now because if Apple is going back to their own drawing board and they said okay we want to make our own chips. The firm doesn't have much of a choice but to sell some of their components." The company says it's 'received interest from a number of parties'. and is 'engaged in preliminary discussions with potential bidders'. SOUNDBITE (English) THINK MARKETS, CHIEF MARKET ANALYST, NAEEM ASLAM, SAYING: "The share price is up 20 percent. Certainly there is an appetite certainly investors do think that there is a value or this selling and perhaps they may be able to survive." Imagination said last month that it had started a 'dispute resolution procedure'. Believing Apple may violate its patents should they go it alone. Analysts believe there could be lawsuits ahead. Nevertheless there is a valuable lesson here, involving eggs and baskets. And you don't need much imagination to see it.