Updated from 12:14 p.m. EDT
said it will acquire
Wind River Systems
( WIND) in a deal worth $884 million, a sign the chipmaker may be shifting toward
approach to doing business.
Intel said it will pay $11.50 a share for Wind River, which represents a 44% premium above the stock's closing price on Wednesday. The deal is expected close during the summer, as Wind River's board of directors has unanimously approved the transaction.
Shares of Wind River surged 47% to $11.76. Intel shares tacked on 1.2% to $16.13.
Wind River enables companies to develop, run and manage device software faster. Intel said the acquisition will become part of its strategy to grow its processor and software presence outside the traditional PC and server markets. Wind River's growth areas include smartphones, in-car and other automotive systems, aerospace and defense, and energy markets.
Wind River's Linux operating systems and middleware for multimedia devices and automotive systems compete with
. Previously, Wind River had partnerships with companies such as
Craig Berger, an analyst with FBR Capital Markets, said that the acquisition of Wind River is an early step in shifting Intel's business model toward that of IBM's approach. "If Intel is beginning to diversify its business away from just semiconductors, we would expect a host of similar software or services-related acquisitions in coming years," Berger said.
IBM reportedly eyed a bid for Wind River
in order to establish a stronger presence in the embedded operating systems market.
Later that year, Wind River joined the Open Handset Alliance and in October 2008 announced that it would offer a commercial software product based on
open source mobile software Android.
Doug Freedman, an analyst at Broadpoint AmTech, said he's not sure how accretive the Wind River deal is for Intel, but said it "makes sense from the standpoint that Intel is trying to service and grow an embedded processing market."
"They presently participate in it, but it's become more of a focus for the company to support," Freedman said, adding that the embedded processor market is also serviced by IBM,
, among others.
FBR's Berger said the purchase price and additional headcount won't impact Intel's overall financial position and margins a great deal, but there are several strategic implications for the chipmaker.
"We think Intel will increasingly pursue added software exposure as a way to embed more value and IP into its chips, and to make its embedded customer engagements more 'sticky,'" Berger said in a research note. "Additionally, some concerns are mounting internally about the continued duration and pace of process technology advancements."
In March, Wind River said fiscal 2009 revenue rose 9.5% year-over-year to $359.8 million, while full-year net income of $10.7 million reversed a year-ago loss of $2.3 million. For fiscal 2010, the company said revenue is expected to be in the range of $360 million to $380 million.