Electronics Production | February 13, 2007

Will American investors take over Infineon?

People in Europe are now worried about the possible Infineon take-over by three named American investors who have announced their interest in the German chip company. The worries are caused by a number of actions made by American firms in the European semiconductor industry.
Will the European semiconductor industry become weaker by all the actions from American investors? That is the question European semiconductor market analysts are asking right now.

NXP decided to leave the important Crolles2 project after it had been acquired by KKR recently. Freescale recently choose to collaborate with IBM and IBM has expressed that it is not particularly interested in the Crolles2 cooperation. To the fears could be added that Europe's semiconductor industry is about to be decimated by US private equity funds which are intent on turning a quick profit by buying them up, stripping them of their most valuable assets, and selling them on as very much weakened companies.

With this possible entry of the Americans in Germany one other issue is up for discussion.
German companies are seen as cosy places to work, by international standards, and hostile takeovers are extremely rare in Germany. Moreover the German unions have long been seen as a big obstacle to any hostile takeover bid succeeding.


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