Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. has moved to acquire the wafer fab facility of Nexperia B.V. in Newport, South Wales, United Kingdom. Accordingly, the transaction will cover approximately US$177 million in cash.
Newport Wafer Fab, located on 28 acres, is an automotive-certified, 200mm semiconductor wafer fab. Particularly, it supplies primarily automotive markets and is the largest semiconductor manufacturing site in the U.K.
Joel Smejkal, President and CEO of Vishay said Vishay has set an ambitious goal of investing approximately US$1.2 billion in capacity over three years. Most importantly, this aims to position the company to seize the opportunities created by the megatrends of e-mobility and sustainability needed for a Net Zero economy.
Furthermore, Smejkal said, “Adding Newport Wafer Fab to our manufacturing footprint will be instrumental to achieving our goal of expanding capacity for our customers and to accelerating our SiC strategy.”
Meanwhile, Smejkal said primary to the Newport acquisition is to safeguard the positions of the highly skilled and dedicated employees of the fab. Moreover, to invest the necessary capital to set up production of SiC Trench MOSFETs and diodes. “With its solid balance sheet and ample liquidity, Vishay will immediately bring stability and its reliable cash flow generation to ensure the facility becomes a fully operational and profitable fab” added Mr. Smejkal.
“For Vishay, acquiring Newport Wafer Fab brings together our capacity expansion plans for our customers in automotive and industrial end markets as well as the UK’s strategic goal of improved supply chain resilience. In addition to expanding capacity, we intend to collaborate with the Compound Semiconductor Cluster in South Wales and to join with key stakeholders committed to developing the semiconductor industry in the UK including university and community partners in the UK and particularly South Wales,” concluded Mr. Smejkal.
On the other hand, Marc Zandman, Executive Chairman of the Board, Vishay said, “Vishay’s Board made a critical decision last year to pivot the company toward profitable growth under new leadership. Leveraging the company’s solid cash flow generation, sound operational capabilities and broad product portfolio.”
In addition, Zandam stressed a key element of this strategic shift is the investment in technologies and incremental capacity to position Vishay to capitalize on the megatrends. Particularly, in e-mobility and sustainability.
Toni Versluijs, Country Manager, Nexperia UK, on the other hand said Nexperia would have preferred to continue the long-term strategy it implemented when it acquired the fab in 2021. However, Versluijs noted the “unexpected and wrongful divestment order” made by the U.K. government in November 2022 cut short Nexperia’s investments plans.
“The UK Government’s order, in combination with a weakness in the global semiconductor market, recently led us to announce the intention to reduce the number of employees at the site by at least 100. The site needs clarity about its future to avoid further losses, and today’s announcement provides this.”
Moreover, Versluijs said the agreement with Vishay is the most viable one to secure the future of the site. This as as Vishay, like Nexperia, has a solid customer base for the fab’s capabilities.
For the site, Vishay’s commitment to further make the Newport Wafer Fab a success story is encouraging.