Newport Wafer Fab faces Chinese takeover

May 24, 2021 // By Peter Clarke
Newport Wafer Fab under threat of Chinese takeover
Newport Wafer Fab, a UK foundry for power and compound semiconductor ICs, has sought protection from a potential Chinese takeover say reports.

Newpower Wafer Fab has writeen to the UK's Business Secretary Kwasi Karteng after Nexperia appointed to two directors to its board of directors following a business dispute. The UK government has declined to act so far, the reports said.

Nexperia, formerly the discretes and power chips division of NXP Semiconductor NV, was sold off to Chinese interests in 2017 and acquired by Wingtech Technology Co. Ltd. (Shanghai, China) in 2019.

According to reports, Netherlands-headquartered Nexperia has become the second-largest shareholder in NWF and has gained the right to appoint board directors under certain defined circumstances.

NWF was previously a power semiconductor plant for International Rectifier and Infineon before Infineon put the plant up for sale in 2015. Newport Wafer Fab was formed in 2017 and has received government backing as part of an effort to develop south Wales as a center of excellence in compound semiconductors.

The company has been trying to raise $50m to help it double its manufacturing capacity. The fab runs wafers of 200mm diameter and currently has a manufacturing capacity of 32,000 wafer starts per month of process of 180nm and above.

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