Next Orbit Ventures, the lead partner in the ISMC wafer fab consortium, has agreed to sell its entire to B C Jindal Group, a maker of steel pipe and plastic films, according to a Business Standard report.
Finance company Next Orbit Ventures was a prime mover behind the formation of the Indian Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd (ISMC) and recruited support from Israel specialist foundry Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (see Tower JV signs agreement to build Indian wafer fab).
The plan covers the building of a 65nm analog wafer fab in India with Mysuru, Karnataka, selected as the location for the $3 billion facility. The joint venture applied for a grant under the central Indian government’s $10 billion chip incentive scheme (see India details wafer fab subsidy scheme favoring 28nm). Under the production-linked incentive scheme the central and state governments will provide up to 50 percent of the project cost for multiple wafer fabs and display manufacturing facilities.
Next Orbit has reportedly said it has agreed to sale its stake in the business after the Indian Semiconductor Mission or ISM – the body which scrutinises fab subsidy proposals – said that for the project to be considered it would need to bring in a strategic investor.
However, Tower’s own involvement in the project is encumbered by the fact that Tower agreed to be acquired by Intel Corp. more than one year ago. That deal is subject to regulatory approval which has not been forthcoming from China amongst other places (see Intel set to buy foundry Tower for $5.4 billion).
The Indian Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (ISMC) has requested 150 acres of land in Mysuru’s Kochanahalli Industrial area. The fab is expected to create 1,500 direct jobs and 10,000 indirect jobs.