Sat, Apr 15, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Powertech to acquire two Japanese firms

LOOKING EAST:The nation’s biggest chip tester and packager plans to take majority stakes in Tera Probe Inc and Micron Akita Inc in deals that could cost up to US$1.32bn

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Powertech Technology Inc chairman D.K. Tsai poses for a picture at a press briefing at the Taiwan Stock Exchange in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Hung Yu-fang, Taipei Times

Powertech Technology Inc (力成科技) yesterday said it plans to acquire two Japanese chip testers and packagers for at least US$86 million, targeting the fast-growing automotive and Internet-of-Things (IoT) markets in that nation.

The acquisitions would also allow Powertech, Taiwan’s biggest chip tester and packager, to expand its production sites to Japan.

“We have been wanting to build manufacturing operations in Japan to provide clients with complete solutions from chip probing to chip testing and packaging services,” Powertech chairman D.K. Tsai (蔡篤恭) told a media briefing at the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.

Powertech operates three overseas plants: one in Suzhou, China, and one in Xian, China, with US memorychip giant Micron Technology Inc, as well as one of its own in Singapore.

“Despite Japan’s setbacks in some semiconductor segments, Japanese firms are aggressively expanding by making chips used in vehicles and IoT devices. Those are the markets Poweretech intends to address,” Tsai said.

The acquisitions “would also provide easier access to the Japanese semiconductor market,” he added.

Powertech plans to submit a tender offer to buy a 39.6 percent stake in Tera Probe Inc for US$36 million from Micron Technology, after signing a series of agreements with Micron Technology and Micron Memory Japan Inc, the company said.

The equity investment would boost Powertech’s stake in Tera Probe to 51.2 percent from 11.6 percent, it said.

Based on the agreements with Micron Technology, Powertech also agreed to buy the US company’s stake in Micron Akita Inc for US$50 million.

Along with the deal, Powertech also inked a supply agreement with Micron Technology to take over most of its clients following the transaction.

Micron Akita mainly provides high-end chip probing or testing services for chips used in smartphones and other handheld devices, Powertech said.

The two transactions could cost a total of US$1.32 billion if Tera Probe shareholders accepted the tender offer, Powertech spokesman Evan Tseng (曾炫章) told reporters.

Powertech is offering to buy Tera Probe shares at ¥1,100 from April 17 to May 29, representing a 8.18 percent discount compared with the company’s closing share of ¥1,198 on Tokyo Stock Exchange yesterday.

Powertech expects the acquisitions to boost to its revenue growth. The company posted revenue of NT$48.34 million (US$1.59 million) last year and Tseng said the deals would add about NT$4 billion a year.

Powertech expects to wrap up the deals by July this year.

The transactions are subject to the approval of the Investment Commission.

Tera Probe, headquartered in Yokohama, had about 280 employees as of June last year, according to the company’s Web site.

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