Intel reportedly in talks to acquire GlobalFoundries for $30 billion

GlobalFoundries executives claim not to be involved in the discussions

An Intel-branded CPU fan on a motherboard, lit in blue

Intel is considering buying GlobalFoundries in a deal that could be worth around $30 billion, which could boost its chip production amid an ongoing global shortage of components.

However, the deal isn’t guaranteed and it doesn’t appear that the talks include GlobalFoundries executives, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

GlobalFoundries, which is owned by Mubadala Investment, an investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government, could instead proceed with a planned initial public offering later this year.

GlobalFoundries emerged back in 2008 when rival chipmaker AMD decided to spin off its semiconductor manufacturing business, creating an entity that would be picked up by Mubadala Investment.

However, GlobalFoundries still counts on AMD as one of its clients and, if the deal does go ahead, it could raise difficult questions around market competition, especially as the US is targeting big tech dominance with new antitrust bills which have already passed the House Committee stage.

Intel has so far refused to comment on the alleged deal.

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In March, Intel unveiled its strategy to invigorate its business following a rocky 2020. The company said it would invest around $20 billion in two new Arizona-based factories and launch Intel Foundry Services (IFS), which it hoped would become a major provider of foundry capacity in the US and Europe. As part of this, the firm said it would make custom chips for tech firms and national governments so it could compete with other chipmakers like Samsung and TSMC.

However, in April, Intel’s data centre division declined 20.5% year-on-year, with overall revenues falling by 1%. This resulted in a $1.43 billion drop in earnings for its data centre business compared with the first quarter of 2020.

Following this, Intel’s executive vice president of the Data Platforms Group, Navin Shenoy, announced his resignation in June as part of a wider restructure at the company that involved the creation of two new business units focused on software and high-performance computing graphics.

Meanwhile, GlobalFoundries invested over $4 billion in a new facility on its Singapore campus in June, done in partnership with the Singapore Economic Development Board. The company is also planning capacity expansions to all of its manufacturing sites in the US and Germany to help meet global demand for semiconductor chips.

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