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Saturday, December 9, 2023

Dutch-Chinese chip manufacturer sells factory under British pressure

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Chip manufacturer Nexperia, an originally Dutch company that has been part of a Chinese group since 2019, has sold a chip factory in the United Kingdom under pressure from the British government. National security would be at stake, which Nexperia does not agree with.

The factory is primarily aimed at the automotive sector. Nexperia specializes in the mass production of simple chips. This is a location in Wales, which the company has fully owned since 2021. Nexperia also has a factory in Manchester, but it is outside this business.

This time last year, the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy instructed Nexperia to cut the company’s stake in the factory by at least 86 percent. In practice, the factory has now been completely sold to the American Vishay Intertechnology for 177 million dollars.

Two reasons

The British government has two arguments: there is fear that knowledge that Nexperia gains during the production process can be used against the United Kingdom. In addition, there is the fear that companies in the same region would no longer be able to compete for projects that are “relevant to national security” due to contact with that factory.

Although it has not been said out loud, it appears that the British decision stems from the fact that Nexperia belongs to a Chinese group. The legal procedure in which the decision is being challenged will continue. Nexperia tells NOS to continue this for reasons of principle.

Nexperia is also under a magnifying glass in the Netherlands. The company bought the Delft start-up Nowi last year. As of June 1, a new law comes into force that makes it possible to investigate takeovers with a view to national security. The Investment Assessment Bureau has been examining for several months whether Nowi also qualifies for such an investigation.

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