GlobalFoundries has denied recently circulated industry reports that its semiconductor manufacturing operations, including two 300mm fabs in New York’s Tech Valley, are up for sale.
According to a GlobalFoundries spokesperson, quoted by the publication extremetech.com, “there is ‘no truth’ to rumors that the company has been put up for sale or that the owners were looking for an exit strategy. ”
It had been widely reported in the Korean press and elsewhere that Samsung Semiconductor was interested into acquiring GlobalFoundries. Extremetech.com had also reported that part or all of GlobalFoundries might be up for sale.
“The semiconductor foundry (Samsung Semiconductor) entertained the crown prince of Abu Dhabi on February 28 at its Singapore campus and contacted us at the same time to refute those rumors directly,” the Extremetech article reported, detailing the particulars of the GlobalFoundries statement.
The sale and purchase of semiconductor companies – and speculation about potential buyers and sellers – is nothing new, especially for a company like GlobalFoundries which is a mashup of several chip making operations with previous owners and investors.
Headquartered in the U.S., GlobalFoundries was created by the divestiture of the manufacturing arm of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) on March 2, 2009, expanded through the acquisition of Chartered Semiconductor on January 23, 2010, and further expanded through the acquisition of IBM Microelectronics on July 1, 2015. According to its Wikipedia entry:
“The Emirate of Abu Dhabi is the owner of the company through its subsidiary Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC). On March 4, 2012, AMD announced they divested their final 14% stake in the company, which concluded AMD’s multi-year plan to divest its manufacturing arm.”
“The firm manufactures integrated circuits in high volume mostly for semiconductor companies such as AMD, Broadcom, Qualcomm, and STMicroelectronics. It has five 200 mm wafer fabrication plants in Singapore, one 300 mm plant each in Germany and Singapore, and three plants in the United States: one 200 mm plant in Vermont (where it is the largest private employer) and two 300 mm plants in New York.”
Extremetech noted that even if GlobalFoundries was interested in shopping its semiconductor business to potential buyers, finding a suitable partner might not be an easy task. It is especially complicated by the anti-foreign company policies of the current administration in Washington.
GlobalFoundries “willingness to deny the rumor point-blank would seem to put the kibosh on this idea, and it’s true that any sale would be exceedingly complex. Mainland Chinese buyers wouldn’t likely pass muster with the US due to security concerns. TSMC hasn’t shown any particular interest in a deal, and international regulators might have concerns about allowing the world’s largest foundry to eat its second-largest competitor. If Samsung, TSMC, and mainland Chinese buyers are all off the table, that doesn’t leave a whole lot of players with the funding or interest in swallowing the firm,”