The UK’s largest chip manufacturing site has been bought by a US firm after its Chinese owner was forced to sell amid a national security row.
Newport Wafer Fab, which makes semiconductors used in cars and smartphones, has been acquired by Seattle-based Vishay Intertechnology in a deal worth £144million.
The South Wales business was put up for sale when ministers ordered Chinese-owned Nexperia to offload its 86 per cent of its stake over national security concerns.
Semiconductor company Nexperia is based in the Netherlands but it is a subsidiary of Chinese firm Wingtech Technology, which is partially state-owned.
It bought Newport Wafer Fab for a reported £63million in 2021, but a Government review found its ownership posed two risks to UK national security.
Newport Wafer Fab, which makes semiconductors used in cars and smartphones, has been acquired by Seattle-based Vishay Intertechnology in a deal worth £144m
In November last year the Government said the takeover could ‘undermine UK capabilities’ and ‘facilitate access to technological expertise and know-how’.
Nexperia yesterday hit out at the Government in a joint statement with Vishay Intertechnology to announce the deal.
Toni Versluijs, country manager at Nexperia UK, said its investment plans for the site have been ‘cut short by the unexpected and wrongful divestment order made by the Government’.
The deal is subject to a UK government review and is expected to complete in the first quarter of next year.