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SMSC puts acquisition of Conexant on hold

A planned acquisition by Hauppauge-based Standard Microsystems Inc. is on hold.

SMSC said last month that it planned to buy a rival California company for $284 million. Conexant Systems Inc., of Newport Beach, is a maker of products for imaging, audio and embedded modem and video.

But now another suitor has one-upped SMSC, offering $311 million for Conexant. The new offer comes from Golden Gate Private Equity Inc., of San Francisco.

In a separate statement issued Monday, SMSC said it has been given the opportunity to increase or restructure its bid.

"I wouldn't be surprised if SMSC tries to do a topping or matching offer," Blayne Curtis, an analyst at Jefferies & Co. in Boston, told Bloomberg News. "I wasn't really expecting any higher offers."

He has a "hold" rating on Conexant shares and does not own any.

SMSC in November bought another California company, Symwave Inc., a maker of USB 3.0 products capable of transferring data 10 times faster than the current USB 2.0 computer port technology.

And in June, SMSC purchased a Dutch wireless product design company, Wireless Audio IP B.V., which makes plug-and-play wireless products for home theater, headphones, LED TVs, PCs, gaming and automotive entertainment.

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