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GPU tech supplier Imagination Technologies lays off 20% of staff -sources

FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of technology company Imagination Technologies is seen on the outskirts of London

By Max A. Cherney

(Reuters) -Chip technology design maker Imagination Technologies plans to lay off 20% of the company’s staff, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The U.K.-based company, which signed an agreement to supply Apple with chip technology in 2020, said it was cutting the staff because of a challenging “business environment” over the last 18 months, according to an internal message reviewed by Reuters.

The cuts are company-wide and every unit will be affected, according to one of the sources.

Imagination said in a statement the company was taking the "steps necessary to adapt to the challenging and evolving market" and declined to comment further.

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Imagination makes technology that competes with Arm Holdings, which recently went public, and had 559 staffers at the end of 2022, according to a recent filing with U.K. regulators.

In the U.K. as many as 130 jobs were at risk, one of the sources said.

Imagination Tech is owned by the private equity firm Canyon Bridge, which is backed by the Chinese state-owned China Reform holdings. Canyon Bridge acquired Imagination in 2017 after Apple said it would develop its own graphics technology, which sent the company's shares down 70%.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

For last year, Imagination reported profit before tax of £17 million ($20.9 million) on revenue of £120.3 million, according to filings.

(Reporting by Max A. Cherney in San Francisco; Editing by Chris Reese and Stephen Coates)