When Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 went missing, a US tech firm had 20 senior staff on the flight, many of whom were shareholders in the company and some were co-owners of some very important patents for military radar systems and microchips for autonomous driving cars.
With the mysterious disappearance of the Boing 777, all of the remaining shares held by the missing travelers for Freescale Semiconductor Ltd were inherited by the only remaining shareholder, Lord Jacob Rothschild, who then became the sole owner of some very important patents.
Freescale has now been sold to Dutch chipmaker NXP Semiconductors NV for $11.8 billion in cash and stock after NXP agreed to pay off the company’s remaining debts which amounted to just under $5 billion, pushing the total purchase price close to $17 billion.
According to Bloomberg, Freescale’s shareholder will get $6.25 in cash and 0.3521 of an NXP share for each Freescale common share.
The deal values Freescale at $36.14 a share, almost matching the stock’s closing price Feb. 27 of $36.11.Including Austin, Texas-based Freescale’s debt, the purchase price is about $16.7 billion.
Both companies are major suppliers of chips for use in cars and are seeking to benefit as vehicles become more advanced, requiring more processors and electronics.
The merged company, with about $10 billion in annual sales, would be the world’s eighth-largest chipmaker and would pose a bigger threat to Texas Instruments Inc. in the market for analog chips.
“If you want to make cars drive by themselves, then the use of sensors is likely to grow exponentially,” Robin van den Broek, an analyst at ING in Amsterdam, said in an interview. “The deal will help the company in getting scale.
”The financial return made by the company makes it the best performer on the Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index, which has gained about 4 percent.
Freescale Semiconductor also makes powerful microchips for industries including defense and had released powerful new products to the American market on March 3, 2014.
Five days later, Flight MH370 took off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing with 239 people on board including 20 working for Freescale. Twelve were from Malaysia, while eight were Chinese nationals. Freescale’s spokesman Mitch Haws has said: “These were all people with a lot of experience and technical background and they were very important people.” “It’s definitely a loss for the company.
“Freescale’s shareholders include the Carlyle Group of private equity investors whose past advisers have included ex-US president George Bush Sr, and former British Prime Minister John Major, with Lord Jacob Rothschild now holding the lion’s share.Carlyle’s previous heavyweight clients include the Saudi Binladin Group, the construction firm owned by the family of Osama bin Laden.
The fact that Freescale had so many highly qualified staff on board the Boeing 777 had already prompted conspiracy theories about what might have happened, especially with Rothschild inheriting so many shares and patents.
The company says they were flying to China to improve its consumer products operations, but Freescale’s links to Rothschild and electronic warfare technology are likely to trigger more speculation and deepen the mystery.
Since Malaysian Airlines Flight MH-370 went missing on March 8, 2014, no trace of it has ever been found.