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Britain loses another darling as Cirrus buys Wolfson for £291m

After 30 years of flying the British flag, one of Britain’s most treasured tech firms has been sold to an American competitor.

Edinburgh-based Wolfson Microelectronics has been acquired for £291 million by Texas-based Cirrus Logic, which makes audio chips for iPhones and iPad Minis.

Keeping the wolf from the door

Once worth almost a staggering £650 million, Wolfson supplies also audio chips for mobile devices including the Samsung Galaxy range.

But its biggest customer was Apple until in 2008 it was dropped after delivering shipments late.

Since then the firm reported losses and staff cuts due to competition from larger rivals such as Qualcomm.

Flying the nest

The news follows CGI Group’s purchase of Logica, Hewlett-Packard’s ill-fated acquisition of Autonomy and ICL being bought out by Fujitsu.

As the UK takes a 21st century gamble on the next generation of tech, spare a thought for some of Britain’s earlier pioneers.