Sat, Oct 19, 2013 - Page 14 News List

German firms ink letters of intent

PLATFORM:Dialog Semiconductor is planning a distribution center, Merck Group and Actuator Solutions want R&D centers and Acutator also wants a manufacturing facility

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Seeking to collaborate with local firms and shorten product delivery time for their clients, three German firms recently signed letters of intent (LOI) to invest a total of NT$6 billion (US$204.23 million) in Taiwan, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Thursday.

The German firms are integrated-circuit maker Dialog Semiconductor PLC, liquid crystal producer Merck Group and shape memory alloys (SMA) seller Actuator Solutions, the ministry said in a statement.

The companies inked the letters during meetings with ministry officials between Wednesday last week and Thursday, the statement said.

As a major supplier of integrated circuits used in smartphones and tablets by brands including Apple Inc, Dialog is also a partner of the world’s largest contract chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), Investment Services Department Director-General Chiu Yi-cheh (邱一徹) said by telephone yesterday.

Dialog supplies energy-efficient chips to Taiwan-based companies involved in information and communication, photoelectric and penal sectors, he said.

“Given Taiwan’s geographical advantages, several foreign firms have been making enquiries about investment opportunities in Taiwan for a long time,” Chiu said.

While Dialog declined to publicly disclose the amount of its investment, Chiu said the firm planned to establish a product distribution center in Taiwan to shorten its product delivery time to Asian clients.

According to the ministry’s data, Stuttgart-based Dialog has 1,000 employees and generated sales of US$774 million last year.

Meanwhile, Merck Group, which manufacturers liquid crystals as well as medicines and pharmaceutical products, said it planned to invest more than US$100 million to establish a product research and development (R&D) center in Taiwan, the ministry said.

In 2005, Merck Group spent NT$900 million building a research lab in Taoyuan County to develop liquid crystal products, the ministry said.

Merck Group’s new product research and development center will focus on technologies used to manufacture raw materials for OLED and flexible panels as well as LED products, the statement said.

Merck Group has a total of 38,000 employees. Last year it posted sales of 11.2 billion euros (US$15.34 billion) on its financial reports, the ministry said.

Actuator Solutions, a joint venture by Italy-based SAES Getters and Germany-based Alfmeier Prazision AG, said it planned to establish a manufacturing facility as well as an R&D in Taiwan to develop SMA actuators used in products varying from electronics, digital cameras to car seats, the ministry said.

Actuator wants to solidify its presence in Taiwan to use it as a base to explore other Asian markets, it added.

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