Intel rumored to acquire GlobalFoundries for $30 billion
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In March this year, when Pat Gelsinger became the new CEO of Intel, it looked like things could finally change for the better after all the delays and shortages. The new restructuring strategy that would allow Intel to once again become the world’s premier semiconductor maker presented, among others, a plan to open up its production capacity to other companies and essentially become a direct competitor to TSMC. Intel already pledged more than $20 billion in investments this year to help further this plan, also hinting at upcoming commitments in Europe and other parts of the world. Meanwhile, Intel realized that it might not be that easy to compete with TSMC on its own and is now rumored to consider the acquisition of GlobalFoundaries, which, according to sources close to The Wall Street Journal, could be valuated at around $30 billion.
This deal would greatly expand Intel’s production capacity, but there are a few hurdles to consider. First of all, GloFo is still regarded as an AMD spin off, even though it is now fully owned by the Abu Dhabi government through Mubadala Investment Co. Admittedly, GloFo is not pursuing the cutting edge in semiconductor production anymore, seeing that its most advanced nodes are currently stuck at 12 nm, yet the company is still considered the fifth largest semiconductor foundry in the world and is expanding its manufacturing footprint in order to contribute to the alleviation of the ongoing chip shortages. Just last month, GloFo began constructing a new Singapore fab that is estimated to cost $4 billion. Moreover, AMD could invoke conflict of interest, since it still remains one of GloFo’s largest customers. The two companies already signed a $1.6 billion multiyear deal for chip component supplies earlier this year.
The acquisition talks do not seem to be too advanced as of yet. When asked for an official statement, GloFo dismissed such rumors. GloFo may still opt for an initial public offering if the deal falls through. Back in February, we were reporting on some interesting and rather thought-provoking analyses made by the EETimes and Twitter user RetiredEngineer that were predicting how Intel could spin off its fabs. With the GloFo acquisition at hand, these predictions are not that far-fetched anymore. Intel could merge its Technology and Manufacturing Group with GloFo and spin the resulting entity off as a reputable TSMC competitor.