Semiconductor firm to sell its Newport site

German semiconductor firm Infineon Technologies AG has signed an agreement with a private company trading under the name Neptune 6 Ltd to sell its Newport site.

The company is selling IR Newport Ltd, its subsidiary manufacturing site, at an undisclosed price. Both parties concluded the deal at the end of September.

Infineon and Neptune 6 have also entered a two-year supply agreement to ensure there’s a mutually smooth transition phase. The buyer is to operate the site under the name Newport Wafer Fab Ltd.

Jochen Hanebeck, member of the management board of operations at Infineon Technologies AG, said the deal will protect the longterm future of production and jobs in the Welsh city.

“I am convinced that with Neptune 6 we have found the right partner who will secure production and jobs in Newport. Knowing we would have to part with the Newport site, it was my personal concern to make sure it will be in good hands,” he said.

“I am also delighted that the solution we have found now enables us to support our customers even better and more flexibly. The transfer of the fab is a major step in consolidating our frontend manufacturing footprint after the acquisition of International Rectifier.

“I would like to express my sincere thanks to Neptune 6, the Welsh Government and above all to the highly committed employees at the Newport facility who have always excelled by their enormous commitment and expert knowledge.”

Steve Berry, legal director of Neptune 6 Ltd, said the facility will become an integral part of the Welsh semiconductor industry thanks to its reliable, talented workforce.

“The Newport site, which comes with a skilled workforce of highly reliable and very experienced people, is extremely well placed to contribute to the rapidly emerging International Compound Semiconductor Cluster of South Wales,” he said.

“The fab is very well equipped to act as a globally competitive chip foundry, and Newport Wafer Fab Ltd. will be highly complementary to the existing semiconductor expertise in the region.”

On behalf of the Newport Wafer Fab team, Steve Berry expressed his gratitude to the involved parties – including Infineon, HSBC Bank and the Welsh Government for facilitating the transaction.

“The success of the transaction means that Newport Wafer Fab can provide the employees, the region and the UK with a very bright future in high volume advanced semiconductor chip manufacturing,” Mr. Berry said.

Welsh Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates said:“I am delighted that the Welsh Government has been able to support a deal to save the Newport site and the jobs of the people employed there.

“The closure of the site in Newport would have been a major setback for the local and national economy and would greatly detract from the substantial investments made to establish Wales as a global centre for Advanced Compound Semiconductor technologies.”

As Mr. Skates added that the site will form a key part of the Compound Semiconductor Cluster over the coming years. “The cluster will make a significant contribution to the future of the Welsh economy and support many global companies based here, such as Airbus, GD, Sony and GE,” he said.

“The synergies this can deliver will contribute to increased skills levels in the region and will attract further technology businesses to Wales.

“Highly-skilled technology roles, such as these retained in Newport, are of significant value to our economy and vital to ensure Wales capitalises on the growth of the digital economy.”

Image credit: Kevin Stanchfield