Irish Computer Chip Firm Powervation Targets €100m Sales after Takeover Deal

altPowervation, an Irish designer and producer of ultra energy-saving computer chips, aims to increase revenue to €100m over the next three years after being acquired by Japanese electronic parts manufacturer ROHM.

ROHM director Jun Lida and senior vice president and general manager Mike Smith at the Powervation plant in Cork yesterday

ROHM director Jun Lida and senior vice president and general manager
Mike McAuliffe at the Powervation plant in Cork yesterday

ROHM said yesterday it bought the Cork-based firm for €64m in an all-cash transaction. The Japanese company is a $3bn (€2.7bn) global leader in analog and power semiconductors.

Powervation will become a fully-owned subsidiary of ROHM, with its principal design centre remaining in Cork and system application centres in the US and Asia. The company has received the backing of industry heavyweights such as US giants Intel and Semtech Corporation.

Powervation employs about 45 people, with 20 based in Cork. It was founded in 2006 by Dr Karl Rinne, a lecturer at the University of Limerick and his then research student Dr Eamon O'Malley. The firm's chips, which reduce power consumption and related costs and carbon emissions, are used in the data centres of firms such as Google and Amazon. Speaking to the Irish Independent, chief executive Mike McAuliffe said that the business is now looking to exponentially grow its sales.

Although the most recent set of company accounts available for Powervation show that its turnover was just under €250,000 in 2013, Mr McAuliffe says the firm has ramped up massively in the intervening period and now has sales reaching into the millions of euro.

"We now have multi-million euro sales per year and multi-million sales per quarter," he said. "It's the nature of the business, once you are finished the research stage and start selling you ramp up quickly. We are now aiming to achieve €100m in sales, over the next three years, it would be the next big target."

He revealed that Powervation has had several previous takeover offers but added that "now is the right time to sell".

"ROHM is very strong in consumer and industry which are markets that we are not in at all at the moment, our growth rate [with them] would be of a much greater magnitude than what we could do by ourselves," Mr McAuliffe said.