British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised a national security inquiry into the acquisition of a British semiconductor fab by the Netherlands Nexperia.
🟩 Because the parent company of the Dutch company is a Chinese company
Dutch company Nexperia has acquired 100% ownership of NewportWafer Fab in the UK. Along with this, the name of Fab was also changed to NexperiaNewport. Nexperia has not disclosed the amount paid, but it is said to be 87 million US dollars (about 9 billion yen).
Nexperia is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chinese company Wingtech Technology, and the acquisition of NewportWafer Fab has also been announced on Wingtech’s website. Since the parent company is a Chinese company, the UK government will investigate because of national security concerns.
🟩 Chinese companies of concern
The British government is concerned about the composition of corporate takeovers.
NewportWafer Fab (UK)
A company engaged in contract manufacturing services (EMS) of smartphones in China. In the face of a global chip supply shortage, the company is continuously increasing its investment in automotive chips. It acquired 75.86% of Nexperia’s shares in 2019 and completed a 100% stake in 2020 to make it a wholly-owned subsidiary.
Nexperia (Ansei Semiconductor)
Nexperia is an IDM semiconductor company that manufactures logic, MOSFETs, and more. The company has manufacturing facilities in Hamburg (Germany) and Manchester (UK) for the front process, and Guangdong (China), Seremban (Malaysia) and Kabuyao (Philippines) for the back-end process.
Nexperia is a global leader in discrete, logic and MOSFET devices. It became independent from NXP Semiconductors N.V. in early 2017. With a focus on efficiency, the company produces 85 billion consistently reliable semiconductor components annually. Its extensive product range meets the rigorous standards set by the automotive industry.
NXP, which acquired Freescale Semiconductor in 2016, sold its Standard Products business unit (manufacturing and selling discrete, logic, MOSFETs, etc.) to a consortium of Chinese financial investors and established a new company, Nexperia.
Nexperia is a customer of the foundry service provided by Newport Wafer Fab and had become the second largest shareholder in 2019.
NewportWafer Fab manufactures power and compound semiconductors. The company produces 35,000 200 mm wafers per month and employs 450 people in South Wales.
It started operations as INMOS in 1982, became part of the International Rectifier umbrella in 2002, then became NewportWafer Fab in 2017 as an independent company from Infineon, which acquired International Rectifier.
UK government expressed concern about UK fab takeover of Chinese companiesas a security risk
China’s Wingtech plans to strengthen its investment in R&D in semiconductors, and the acquisition of the UK’s fab is part of this. The U.K. also wants to attract semiconductor investment to the country, caught between security risks and security risks.