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Nexperia completes takeover of UK's largest semiconductor firm

This comes after Boris Johnson ordered a security review into the Chinese-owned firm's deal to buy Newport Wafer Fab

Newport Wafer Fab (NWF) has officially been acquired by Nexperia, owned by the Chinese firm Wingtech, after prime minister Boris Johnson announced there would be a security review into the deal.

A confirmation statement was filed on Companies House on 12 August confirming the transfer of shares to Nexperia. 

Wingtech said in a filing on the Shanghai stock exchange that the transfer of ownership has been completed, with it now indirectly owning 100% of NWF, as reported by Nikkei Asia.

“We have considered this issue thoroughly, and will continue to monitor the situation closely. The National Security Adviser is reviewing this case and we will not hesitate to take further action if needed," a UK government spokesperson told IT Pro. "We remain committed to the semi-conductor sector, and the vital role it plays in the UK’s economy.”

IT Pro has asked Nexperia, and Wingtech for comment.

In July, Boris Johnson ordered the UK’s national security adviser to investigate the acquisition, adding that the deal needed to be probed on grounds of national security. 

"We have to judge whether the stuff that they are making is of real intellectual property value and interest to China, whether there are real security implications,” he said.

Tom Tugendhat, Conservative MP and Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, said the acquisition of Britain’s largest semiconductor foundry was “falling into the hands of an entity from a country that has a track record of using technology to create geopolitical leverage”.

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In August, Ron Black, the former CEO of Imagination Technologies, was reportedly among a consortium that was interested in buying NWF from Nexperia. Black said the consortium could take over the semiconductor foundry if the deal didn’t go ahead, revealing that the consortium had £300 million to invest.

The decision to give the deal the green light comes as the government continues to review the proposed takeover of Arm by Nvidia. In April, digital secretary Oliver Dowden issued a Public Interest Intervention Notice (PIIN) and instructed the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to begin a “phase one” investigation to assess the transaction. The CMA is now set to prepare a report containing advice on the jurisdictional and competition issues regarding the takeover.

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