China applies pressure to close foundry acquisition deal

January 18, 2021 // By Peter Clarke
China applies pressure to close foundry acquisition deal
China is putting time pressure on the Malaysian government to accept a deal for foundry SilTerra Malaysia Sdn Bhd from Dagang NeXchange Bhd., according to a local report.

Chinese approval for funds for the DNeX bid for the foundry will only last until January 31, the report said referencing an unnamed source close to DNeX.

SilTerra is a 200mm-diameter wafer fab owned by Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the investment holding arm of the Malaysia government. It offers CMOS manufacturing processes from 180nm down to 110nm with support for logic, analog and mixed signal, radio frequency, high voltage and MEMS applications. It has also made moves into silicon photonics recently.

The foundry was set up by the Malaysian government in 1995 but is believed to be loss making. The government is trying to divest itself of the foundry while seeking a deal that will maintain local ownership and obtain substantial funds for investment. Almost all forms of chip manufacturing, including mature technologies on 200mm-diameter wafers, are experiencing high demand at present.

The fate of the SilTerra is uncertain because some of the funds for Dagang's RM470 million (about US$116 million) bid come from China. If a deal can be done DNeX will hold 60 percent and Beijing CGP 40 percent of the foundry and it will include responsibilty for SilTerra debts of MYR210 million (about US$52 million), the report said.

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