Activist investor targets Wolfspeed

Activist investor targets Wolfspeed

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

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Activist investor Jana Partners has targeted Wolfspeed over its declining share price and delays to production.

Wolfspeed has been building a 200mm fab and a 200mm wafer plant in the US for silicon carbide (SiC) power devices used for electric vehicles and now  Jana Partners, which holds an undisclosed stake in the company, has written to the board of directors to suggest ways to boost the share price. This could include a sale of all or part of the vertically integrated company, particularly the wafer production business rather than device production fab.

This comes as the supply of SiC wafers and devices is strategic for electric car makers and the shift from 150mm to 200mm SiC wafers to boost volume and cut production costs. The Wolfspeed share price is currently hovering around $24 at an all time low.  

“Wolfspeed’s Board of Directors and management team maintain an open dialogue with, and value constructive input from, our shareholders,” said the company regarding the letter. “The company continually evaluates options to enhance long-term value and is committed to acting in the best interests of all our shareholders. The Wolfspeed Board will carefully review Jana’s letter, and we look forward to engaging with them in the near future.”

Last year Jana targeted avionics firm Mercury Systems, with chairman William O’Brien retiring and replaced by Bill Ballhaus, Mercury’s Interim President and Chief Executive Officer.

Scott Ostfeld, managing partner of Jana also joined the board of directors at Mercury and was part of the search for a new CEO, appointing Ballhous.

“The changes to our Board’s leadership reflect the natural evolution of the Mercury Board to guide the Company’s next chapter,” said O’Brien last year. “Strengthening our Board with additional operational and financial expertise is also critical to our efforts to enhance value for all our stakeholders, including customers, shareholders and employees. Scott has a thorough understanding of our business, a proven investment record and shares the Board’s vision for moving Mercury forward. He also brings important shareholder perspective that will be immediately additive to the boardroom.”

“I commend the Board for the actions it has taken to set Mercury on the right path and install a refreshed Board and leadership team,” said Ostfeld.;





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