Vanguard weighs buying a factory to boost capacity

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 - Page 14

Vanguard International Semiconductor Corp (VISC, 世界先進), which makes control chips for LCD panels, yesterday said it is evaluating the possibility of buying a factory to boost capacity in order to meet growing customer demand in the medium and long term.

That would be the biggest capacity expansion for the Hsinchu-based chipmaker since its last investment in 2007, when Vanguard purchased an 8-inch (200mm) plant from local memorychip maker Winbond Electronics Corp (華邦電) for NT$8.3 billion (US$285 million).

Vanguard, which is 39 percent owned by the world’s top contract chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電), had NT$9.82 billion in cash at the end of last quarter, according to the company’s financial statement.

The chipmaker’s board yesterday agreed to give the chairman the authority to assess the asset purchase, according to a company filing submitted to the Taiwan Stock Exchange. The company did not specify what assets it is considering to acquire and from who.

However, two financially troubled memorychip makers, Powerchip Technology Corp (力晶科技) and ProMOS Technologies Inc (茂德科技), have said earlier that they were seeking potential buyers for their 12-inch factories in Hsinchu and Greater Taichung respectively, as they want to use the proceeds to pay debts and strengthen their working capital.

The stock price of Vanguard rallied yesterday in Taipei trading ahead of the asset purchase announcement, rising 3.72 percent to close at NT$19.5.