Sunday, July 4, 2010

Upek Gives Up on Authen Tec

Happy independence day everybody.

It is appropriate to mention that Authen Tec seems to have won its own continued independence.

Authen Tec a company headquartered in Melbourne, Florida, though I understand it has a parent corporation in Shanghai, China. It creates "smart sensor" products. This appears to mean that it sells components to computer manufacturers that allow those products to use smooth touch pads, rather than such grosser doohickies as track balls, mouse buttons, or joysticks.

Upek, a privately held company headquartered in Emeryville, California, is one of its rivals, and has long sought a combination. Under the Upek plan proposed in Januray of this year, stockholders of each company would have ended up with 50% of the stock of the combined entity, and the new entity would have been listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Upek had combined its merger proposal with a proxy solicitation campaign. But it has now given up on both.

The catalyst for this decision was the resignation of Robert E. Grady from the Authen Tec board. As near as I understand, Grady was their friend on the inside. Yet he is now gone.

"My decision results from my increasing discomfort with the Company's de facto embrace of the status quo, and tolerance of management leadership's actions to resist value-creating transactions," Grady said as he left.

Anyway, Upek, while applauding Grady, has given up its own efforts at soliciting proxies or otherwise inducing a merger.

Upek and Authen Tec have also engaged in patent litigation, which is virtually inevitable nowadays among two firms both working within such a highly technical field.

1 comment:

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