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© Infineon Electronics Production | July 07, 2022

Final decision on Newport Wafer Fab delayed

Over a month since acquisition by Nexperia of Newport Wafer Fab was called-in for a full national security assessment, business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is reportedly seeking for more time before a decision can be made on the takeover.

The assessment process of Nexperia’s acquisition of Newport Wafer Fab was announced on May 25th. The British government had then 30 working days, extendable by up to a further 45 working days, to carry out that assessment.

According to a Financial Times report, Kwasi Kwarteng was set to make a decision yesterday night, but is now seeking another 45 days to ”analyse the takeover amid amid a wider cooling of relations between London and Beijing”.

Nexperia’s UK head, Toni Versluijs said yesterday, according to FT, that both workers and customers of Newport were ”becoming impatient”, urging for a ”swiftly conducted review”.

”We are here to stay. We want to work in the local ecosystem and enable the local ecosystem and the UK semiconductor industry to be successful,” Versluijs told Financial Times.

The Newport semiconductor production site was first established back in 1982 and was originally named INMOS. Since then the plant has had several owners. The acquisition has been criticised from the very start, as the purchase could give China access to British semiconductor designs.

Nexperia is a semiconductor manufacturer headquartered in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. However, it is also a subsidiary of partially Chinese state-backed Wingtech Technology – which is the root of the criticism. Kwasi Kwarteng stated in a previous tweet that “We welcome overseas investment, but it must not threaten Britain's national security.”

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August 09 2022 1:05 am V20.7.2-2