The UK government has opted to investigate the sale of Newport Wafer Fab Ltd. to China-controlled Nexperia NV (Nijmegen, The Netherlands) nearly a year after the deal completed.
The UK government’s business Secretary, Kwasi Karteng, said in a tweet: “Today, I called-in the acquisition of Newport Wafer Fab by Nexperia, a subsidiary of a Chinese company. There will now be a full assessment under the new National Security and Investment Act. We welcome overseas investment, but it emust not threaten Britain’s national security.”
The government has 30 working days – extendable by up to a further 45 working days – to carry out that assessment.
The move comes more than a year after the possibility of the deal was raised. Before the deal was made the board of directors of NWF at that time wrote to Karteng seeking protection from the takeover, but the UK government declined to act.
This is despite the fact that Newport Wafer Fab (NWF) was the focus of activity in compound semiconductors and takepayers’ money has been spent on developing process technologies such as gallium-nitride-on-silicon (see UK government helps NWF develop GaN foundry process).
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