Taiwan’s GlobalWafers in talks to buy German rival Siltronic

A silicon wafer is pictured during the media presentation of the Guardian Angels project in one of the low particle pollution nanofabrication clean rooms of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Ecublens May 16, 2011. — Reuters pic
A silicon wafer is pictured during the media presentation of the Guardian Angels project in one of the low particle pollution nanofabrication clean rooms of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Ecublens May 16, 2011. — Reuters pic

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TAIPEI, Nov 30 — Taiwan’s GlobalWafers, the world’s third-largest maker of semiconductor wafers, confirmed today it is in advanced talks to acquire German rival Siltronic AG in a deal worth an estimated US$4.5 billion (RM18.3 billion).

Both companies issued statements saying they were in “near to final discussions” with GlobalWafers preparing to offer €125 (RM610) per share to Siltronic’s shareholders.

“A combination of GlobalWafers and Siltronic would create a leading player in the industry with a comprehensive product portfolio that can offer technologically sophisticated products to all semiconductor customers globally,” said spokesman William Chen.

The deal is estimated to be worth US$4.5 billion if GlobalWafers buys all of Siltronic’s outstanding shares.

The deal would require approval of the boards of both companies as well as regulators.

Siltronic said its board viewed the offer price “to be attractive and appropriate” and said it could stave off any job losses in Germany until at least 2024.

“The deal may fail due to anti-trust review, but if a merger is approved, this will be beneficial to GlobalWafers’ shareholders,” Bloomberg News quoted Richard Hsia, an analyst at Fubon Securities Investment Services Co, as saying. 

Hsia said a successful acquisition would help GlobalWafers surpass Japan’s two market leaders, Shin-Etsu Chemical and Sumco, to become world number one by revenue, with a market share of 32 per cent to 35 per cent.

Siltronic AG, the world’s fourth largest wafer material maker, is a subsidiary of chemical group Wacker Chemie AG.

The takeover offer is the latest of a spate of semiconductor deals this year that is set to break the record US$122 billion in chip acquisitions in 2016, Bloomberg reported.

GlobalWafers shares were up 9.8 per cent in Taiwan on Monday.

Siltronic shares rose to up to 12 per cent in early trading, their biggest intraday gain since March. — AFP

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