Canyon Bridge bid for Imagination Technologies approved by UK court

The headquarters of technology company Imagination Technologies is seen on the outskirts of London, Britain, June 22, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) - Troubled chip designer Imagination Technologies will delist from the London Stock Exchange on Friday after a court approved a 550 million pound takeover by China-backed private equity firm Canyon Bridge.

The High Court sanctioned the scheme of arrangement through which Canyon Bridge is acquiring Imagination for 182 pence a share in cash on Thursday, paving the way for its delisting.

This will mark the completion of a deal which has drawn attention since it was announced on Sept. 22 because of problems Canyon Bridge has faced in the U.S., where its founder Benjamin Chow was charged with insider trading on Monday.

In September, before the Imagination takeover was agreed, Canyon Bridge was blocked from buying chipmaker Lattice Semiconductor Corp for $1.3 billion by U.S. President Donald Trump, amid concerns the deal posed a risk to national security.

Chow’s case relates to the attempted Lattice deal. He has denied wrongdoing and Imagination’s shareholders voted to approve the Canyon Bridge deal the day after he was charged.

Britain’s Imagination was forced into a sale after its shares plunged in April when Apple, its biggest customer, said it would stop using its technology, plunging it into turmoil.

The deal with Canyon Bridge comes as the British government seeks to increase scrutiny of acquisitions of UK firms by foreign companies. In October, Britain outlined proposals to heighten government oversight of deals involving businesses in the technology and military sectors.

Reporting by Ben Martin; editing by Alexander Smith