GlobalWafers Co (環球晶圓) has vaulted itself into the position of third-largest silicon wafer supplier in the world after it completed a deal to acquire NASDAQ-listed SunEdison Semiconductor Ltd.
The deal helps GlobalWafers take a 17 percent share of the global silicon wafer market, up from 7 percent, to compete with rivals such as Shin-Etsu Chemical Co Ltd and Sumco Techxiv Corp. Before the deal, GlobalWafers was among the top six silicon wafer firms in the world.
In a statement released on Friday, GlobalWafers said that the acquisition is expected to allow the firm to have “a meaningful expansion of its production capabilities and breadth in product and global customer base, including greater access to [South] Korean and EU as well as SOI (Silicon-on-Insulator) product technologies and capacity.”
GlobalWafers chairwoman and chief executive officer Doris Hsu (徐秀蘭) said in the statement that the company has 17 operation sites strategically located in 10 countries in all regions.
The deal is expected to boost GlobalWafers’ 12-inch silicon wafer annual production to 750,000 units from 200,000, and raise 8-inch silicon wafer production to more than 1 million units from 400,000 a year, the company said.
Shares of GlobalWafers fell 2.03 percent to close at NT$91.7 on Friday on the over-the-counter TPEX market. The stock has risen 18.17 percent so far this year.
Spun off from Sino-American Silicon Products Inc (SAS, 中美晶) in 2011, GlobalWafers provides various wafer products to foundries, integrated device manufacturers and memory makers.
In August, GlobalWafers announced that it would acquire SunEdison for US$683 million or US$12 per share.
The deal came after GlobalWafers in July completed its acquisition of a silicon wafer division of Topsil Semiconductor Materials A/S, a leading manufacturer of float-zone wafers, for 320 million kroner (US$45.9 million).
SunEdison, the fourth-largest silicon wafer supplier globally, owns facilities in research and development, and manufacturing facilities in the US, Europe and Asia. The company’s technology enables the next generation of high-performance semiconductor devices and its 12-inch epitaxial wafers are largely used in advanced logic devices.
GlobalWafers vice president William Chen (陳偉文) said that SunEdison shares will be delisted from the NASDAQ market after the acquisition.
Chen said that SunEdison is planning to move its headquarters to Hsinchu in northern Taiwan, where GlobalWafers is based, to streamline its operations.
After the deal, SunEdison is expected to see its borrowing costs fall, which is expected to strengthen its financial conditions, Chen said, reiterating that GlobalWafers has faith that SunEdison will turn a profit next year on the back of improving operations.
Analysts have said the deal is good for GlobalWafers in terms of a complete product offering, a broader customer base and a meaningful industry consolidation.
However, GlobalWafers’ target of achieving a turnaround at SunEdison within a year appears “challenging,” although not impossible, Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Co (元大投顧) analyst George Chang (張家麒) said in a note on Monday last week.
“There is room for improvement if industry demand can grow, or if management can quickly turn it around and gain more market share from other big suppliers,” Chang wrote.
Additional reporting by Lisa Wang
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