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Report: Freescale puts two Scottish fabs on sale

Posted: 05 Sep 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:semiconductor plant? wafer fab? manufacturing facility?

Freescale Semiconductor Inc. has appointed Colliers International's Advanced Technology Real Estate Group (ATREG) to handle the sale of its East Kilbride semiconductor plant and an inactive wafer fab site in Dunfermline, both in Scotland, according to a Dunfermline Press report.

The report also provided additional evidence that the East Kilbride wafer fab site is likely to be sold or closed with a risk to about 900 jobs.

The "long-term market outlook," has persuaded Freescale to try and find a buyer for the East Kilbride site as well as one for a site in Dunfermline, which contains a 10-year old wafer fab shell that has never produced an IC, the report said. "However, no final decision has been made at this point regarding either facility," the report quoted a spokeswoman as saying.

While the East Kilbride site, started in 1969 by Motorola, has been a key semiconductor manufacturing facility, there has been a concern that after Freescale was acquired for $17.6 billion by a consortium of private-equity companies in 2006, that the new management would cut back on manufacturing and staffing and that East Kilbride manufacturing operations could be transferred to the Oak Hill wafer fab in Austin, Texas in the United States.

Construction at the Dunfermline site was originally started over a decade ago by Hyundai, now Hynix Semiconductor, with a plan to spend $3 billion on a wafer fab. Despite receiving $32 million of government money, the shell never received any chipmaking equipment. When Hyundai pulled out of Scotland, the shell and the land were passed to Motorola.

- Peter Clarke
EE Times Europe

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