Tue, May 21, 2013 - Page 13 News List

ASE purchasing Toshiba’s Wuxi fab for US$11m

CLOSER COOPERATION:The deal could help the IC chip testing giant in its quest to gain outsourcing orders from Toshiba, a UBS Securities analyst said

By Kevin Chen  /  Staff reporter

Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (ASE, 日月光半導體) has acquired a semiconductor assembly and testing factory from Toshiba, taking advantage of the recent weakness in Japanese semiconductor firms.

ASE, the world’s biggest chip packager and tester, said in an e-mailed statement yesterday it had agreed to pay Toshiba Semiconductor (Wuxi) Co [東芝半導體 (無錫)] 70 million yuan (US$11.4 million) for its 100 percent holding of Wuxi Tongzhi Microelectronics Co (無錫通芝微電子).

The deal was first disclosed on Wednesday last week in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange. The Greater Kaohsiung-based company said its Shanghai subsidiary, ASE Assembly & Test (Shanghai) Ltd (日月光封裝測試[上海]), has entered into a share transfer agreement with Toshiba Semiconductor (Wuxi), which is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Toshiba Corp.

The move will allow the company to “strengthen the capability of its Shanghai subsidiary in providing IC assembly and testing services,” ASE said in yesterday’s statement.

Japanese semiconductor firms have been struggling to survive as their losses pile up in the face of intensifying competition from South Korean and Taiwanese companies.

ASE’s latest deal follows its purchase of Shanghai-based Global Advanced Packaging Technology Ltd ( 威宇科技 ) for US$60 million and its US$21.6 million joint venture with NXP Semiconductors in Suzhou, China, in 2007 to expand its business scope in China.

UBS Securities Ltd Taipei yesterday said the latest deal was consistent with ASE’s strategy and would help strengthen the Taiwanese firm’s relationship with Toshiba. ASE has been trying to secure orders from the Japanese company for years with little progress.

“We believe the deal could further help ASE in gaining Toshiba’s outsourcing orders as Toshiba accounts for the bulk of Wuxi Tongzhi’s revenue for packaging consumer-related chips,” UBS analyst Jonah Cheng (程正樺) said. “The closer cooperation should also strengthen Toshiba and ASE’s relationship in the long term.”

Wuxi Tongzhi was established in 2010 with a capital of 73.5 million yuan. With Yoshiyuki Taguchi as chief executive, the company has about 250 employees, according to ASE’s statement.

Shares of ASE fell 0.38 percent to NT$25.90 yesterday. The stock has risen 2.78 percent since the beginning of the year, underperforming the TAIEX, which has risen 8.8 percent over the same period, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.

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