ASE keeps mum on Panasonic’s production sites

Staff writer, with CNA

Sat, Oct 26, 2013 - Page 13

Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (ASE, 日月光半導體), the world’s largest integrated circuit packaging and testing services provider, yesterday declined to comment on media reports saying that the company is likely to take over Japan-based Panasonic Corp’s overseas production sites.

Market analysts said investors had high hopes that through the acquisition ASE would reinforce its lead in the global IC packaging and testing industry, in which the Taiwanese firm has a share of about 30 percent.

According to the reports, Panasonic, which is aiming to shed losses incurred by its semiconductor operations, is likely to downsize its semiconductor assets by disposing of its IC packaging and testing sites in China, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The reports said that as ASE has been Panasonic’s partner for several years, it is very likely the company will take over ownership of Panasonic’s overseas plants.

After dumping its IC packaging and testing business, Panasonic is expected to outsource its own requirements for such services, and ASE could win orders from the Japanese electronics maker in the future, the reports said.

Panasonic is also studying the feasibility of disposing of its overseas semiconductor foundry assets, the reports said, adding that the company is expected to cut the workforce in its semiconductor business by half to about 7,000 employees by the end of March 2015.

ASE shares rose 1.91 percent to close at NT$29.35 yesterday.

In recent sessions, the company’s shares have outperformed the broader market after the firm posted a record high level of consolidated sales for the third quarter earlier this month.

For the period from July to last month, ASE reported NT$56.75 billion in consolidated sales, up 11.8 percent from the second quarter.

As ASE has benefited from its efforts to expand its high-end technology capacity, it is expected to post about NT$1.8 in earnings per share this year, up from NT$1.71 last year, Hua Nan Securities Co (華南永昌證券) forecast.