Forced UK fab sale leaves Nexperia “shocked”

Paul van Gerven
Leestijd: 3 minuten

Nexperia is appalled at the UK government’s decision to reverse the takeover of a Welsh wafer fab. In an unusually strongly worded statement, the chipmaker vows to appeal.

The UK government, citing security concerns, has ordered Nexperia to reduce its ownership in the Newport Wafer Fab (NWF) to 14 percent, which is the stake the company held before acquiring the firm in 2021. Nexperia said it’s “shocked” by the decision and intends to appeal. “Nexperia doesn’t accept the national security concerns raised. The far-reaching remedies that Nexperia offered to fully address the government’s concerns have been entirely ignored,” the company writes in a statement.

The 40-year-old 200mm wafer fab in South Wales was struggling, even facing bankruptcy before the acquisition. But, being one of the last remaining semiconductor manufacturing facilities in the UK and anxieties about Chinese involvement in companies on the rise, its takeover last year triggered a political backlash. Nexperia is a subsidiary of China’s Wingtech Technology, which is reportedly partly owned by the Chinese government. Both Nexperia and Wingtech, however, insist they operate independently.

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