China backs loss-making Everspin as it stages IPO

October 10, 2016 // By Peter Clarke
MRAM pioneer, Everspin Technologies Inc. (Chandler, Ariz.) has raised $40 million via an initial public offering of 5 million shares on Nasdaq priced at $8, while also selling shares to a Chinese fabless chip company by way of a private placement.

Everspin's shares began trading on the Nasdaq global market on Friday, October 7, 2016 under the ticker symbol MRAM.

The stock offering and private placement together represent about half the company's total outstanding shares, which will be between about 12.5 million and 13.2 million, depending on whether underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase 750,000 additional shares.

The prospectus for the offering posted on the Securities and Exchange Commission website reveals that Everspin has been loss making over the last two years but that non-volatile memory and microcontroller vendor that GigaDevice Semiconductor (HK) Ltd. is prepared to spend $5 million buying 625,000 shares, or about 5 percent of the company.

Everspin stated in the prospectus that it would use the money raised in the IPO for working capital and to make payment of $8.5 million due to foundry partner Globalfoundries.

GigaDevice is a fabless vendor of NOR flash memory founded in 2005. GigaDevice produces a wide range of SPI Flash, NOR multichip package and parallel Flash memories across various densities and has more recently branched out into offering ARM-based microcontrollers. It has worked with SMIC as a foundry partner, amongst others, and was admitted to the EE Times Silicon 60 in 2012.

In September it was reported that GigaDevice Semiconductor (Beijing, China) had taken over a Memoright plant located in Wuhan, and thar this could provide a way for GigaDevice to become a manufacturer and vendor of solid-state drives.

In its prospectus Everspin stated it has incurred losses sinces its creation in 2008 as a spin-off from Freescale Semiconductor Inc., now part of NXP Semiconductors BV.

Everspin made a net loss of $10.2 million on total revenue of $24.9 million in 2014 and a net loss of $18.2 million on total revenue of $26.5 million in 2015, the prospectus reveals. In the first half of 2016 to June 30, Everspin made a net loss of $10.0 million on revenues