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A Chinese-owned firm acquires the UK's largest semiconductor company

A Newport Wafer Fab logo. (Source: Newport Wafer Fab)
A Newport Wafer Fab logo. (Source: Newport Wafer Fab)
Nexperia, a maker of numerous component types (FETS and diodes) included, has reportedly bought Newport Wafer Fab, which pitches its silicon products at a range of industrial clients, for an estimated US$87 million. The rumored talks might result in an increased foothold in the semiconductor industry for Nexperia's China-based owner.

Nexperia is a company that makes a range of electronic components, (diodes, MOSFETs, ICs and FETs based on up-to-date gallium nitride (GaN) technology included), and is also known for its recent acquisition of NXP Semiconductors. It is based in the Netherlands; however, it has also become 98.2% owned by Wingtech over the years, in the course of billion-dollar deals.

That Chinese firm may be best known as an original design manufacturer (ODM); however, its relationship with Nexperia has allowed it to fulfil some patent chip-making ambitions. Now, it may further them yet again by acquiring Newport Wafer Fab (NWF) via its semiconductor arm, in a deal reported to be worth £63 million (~US$87 million).

NWF is located in the Welsh city of Newport and has been the UK's largest facility within its industry since its 1982 inception. Now, however, it has become part of what is seen as China's efforts to become independent in terms of chip manufacture and supply.

The UK already faces criticism for allowing NWF's sale to go ahead. Tom Tugendhat, who heads the country's Foreign Affairs Select Committee and its administration’s China Research Group, has implied the deal (which has shown no signs of review under regulatory legislation) contravenes the recent Carbis Bay G7 Communiqué, which is (ideally) geared towards ensuring silicon supply on an equable global scale. 

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 07 > A Chinese-owned firm acquires the UK's largest semiconductor company
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2021-07- 6 (Update: 2021-07- 6)