The destiny of Newport Wafer Fab will stay unsure for a bit longer, after the British authorities delayed a call about its sale.
In July 2021 it was revealed that Newport Wafer Fab (NWF), the UK’s largest largest chip producer, would be acquired by Dutch chip firm Nexperia for simply £63 million ($87 million).
Nonetheless concern about that transfer instantly surfaced, centred over the truth that Nexperia is owned by a Chinese language chip agency Wingtech Expertise.
Chinese language buyout
Newport Wafer Fab relies in Newport, Wales, and it’s a excessive quantity 200mm wafer fab that makes silicon chips utilized in energy provide purposes for the car business.
The fab has additionally been growing extra superior “compound semiconductors,” that are quicker and extra vitality environment friendly.
NWF additionally makes the wafers that digital circuits are printed onto.
A few of its work can be probably delicate as Newport Wafer Fab has over a dozen UK government research contracts.
Certainly, not less than considered one of contracts includes growing chip know-how for a radar system that might be utilized in fighter jets.
As quickly because the Nexperia acquisition was introduced final 12 months, nationwide safety issues had been instantly raised by Tom Tugendhat MP, chief of the UK authorities’s China Analysis Group and chairman of the Overseas Affairs Choose Committee.
Tugendhat on the time voiced his issues that the UK was promoting a prized asset to a Chinese language-owned firm, when there’s a international chip scarcity.
Simply a few days after that concern was voiced, Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a review of the acquisition of Newport Wafer Fab.
Then in Could this 12 months, the federal government’s promised full nationwide safety assessment of the acquisition finally began.
However now the Financial Times has reported that new nationwide safety laws (i.e. the Nationwide Safety and Funding Act) was used to permit extra time to scrutinise the Newport Wafer Fab buy.
The choice is reportedly delayed for an additional month and a half (i.e. 45 days).
The enterprise secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, had been anticipated to decide on Tuesday on the acquisition of Newport Wafer Fab by Nexperia.
However with the turmoil presently engulfing the British authorities, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson anticipated to resign right this moment, maybe a delayed choice appears an affordable transfer.
Utilizing the Nationwide Safety and Funding Act, Kwasi Kwarteng has the choice to both block the deal, demand treatments, or enable it to go forward.