In total the IPO could raise as much as €500 million (about $530 million) but only half of this would come to X-Fab. The new shares issued are to be valued at approximately €250 million while a secondary offering will consist of shares currently held by minority shareholders X-Fab and therefore cash will go to those shareholders rather than being available to X-Fab.
The pricing of the IPO will happen later this month, the reports said.
X-Fab is majority owned by Xtrion NV (Tessenderlo, Belgium) which is essentially an investment vehicle for Rudi De Winter, CEO of Xtrion and X-Fab, his wife Francoise Chombar, who is CEO of sister company Melexis NV (Ieper, Belgium), and long-time partner Roland Duchatelet.
The Malaysian state of Sarawak has been a shareholder in X-Fab since the company took over a wafer fab in Kuching through a merger of 1st Silicon (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. and X-Fab Semiconductor Foundries AG in 2006. That holding stands at 35 percent, according to a Bloomberg report.
Sarawak Technology Holdings plans to sell some of its shares at the IPO while 2 percent stakeholder TDK-Micronas plans to sell all its shares, the report said. De Winter and his two partners hold 61 percent of the company and plan to keep their shares, the report quoted De Winter as saying.
The investment from Sarawak, which started in 2006, can be viewed as replacement for a planned IPO by X-Fab that was pulled in 2004 (see X-Fab cancels IPO due to lack of demand).
Next: Six sites
X-Fab, which was founded in 1999, has grown partly by the acquisition of older wafer fabs from chip companies that wished to offload their manufacturing capabililities. It is a speciality foundry making analog, mixed-signal circuits from 1-micron to 130nm and MEMS and currently has six sites; Erfurt, Dresden and Itzehoe in Germany, Corbeil-Essonnes in France, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia and Lubbock, Texas. It serves automotive, industrial and medical applications.
X-Fab is planning to use the money raise by the IPO to help fund the acquisition of more production capacity. “We’re planning $350 million to $370 in investments over the next three years and we can finance that with cash flow and bank loans. If we have some more cash and leeway we can structure future deals. We want to be ready,” the report quoted De Winter as saying.
X-Fab’s sales last year were $513 million and its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were $100 million, according to De Winter.
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