UK challenged to review Newport Fab takeover

UK challenged to review Newport Fab takeover

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

A parliamentary committee is challenging the UK government over the takeover of Newport Wafer Fab by Nexperia.

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the UK parliament has issued a report that follows up on the review of the acquisition of Newport Wafer Fab, one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of semiconductors, by Nexperia.

“By the Government’s own admission, semiconductors are critical to the UK’s national security and wider global interests. The takeover of Newport Wafer Fab by Nexperia represents the sale of one of the UK’s prized assets to a strategic competitor and potentially compromises national security,” said the report by the committee.

“For over a year, the Committee has voiced its concern over the takeover of semiconductor manufacturer Newport Wafer Fab. The National Security and Investment Act has been in place for over three months yet we’ve seen no evidence of its use,” said Tom Tugendhat MP, Chair of the committee.

Nexperia is headquartered in the Netherlands and is 100% owned by Wingtech Technologies, a Shanghai-listed manufacturing company that assembles smartphones and other consumer electronics. The report cites Chinese investment screening specialists Datenna, which says Wingtech is heavily backed by the Chinese Communist Party. Wingtech Chair Zang Xuezheng assumed the role of Nexperia CEO in March 2020.

“Semiconductors are essential to every aspect of modern life and Newport Wafer Fab is one of the country’s leading manufacturers. Their takeover by Nexperia left many wondering why we are, seemingly, handing over critical security infrastructure to overseas companies with well-documented links to the Chinese state,” said Tugendhat. 

“Today, the Committee is calling on the Government to clarify the reasons why the Prime Minister requested a review in Newport Wafer Fab and why this review has not begun.”

The government has two months to respond to the report.

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