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Tower to subsume three fabs from Panasonic

Posted: 29 Nov 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Panasonic? Tower Semiconductor? wafer fab? foundry? TowerJazz?

In order to mitigate losses and halve its workforce, Panasonic is planning to sell three Japanese wafer fabs to foundry Tower Semiconductor, according to a Nikkei report. Panasonic will bundle the three fabs into a separate company this financial year and then sell a majority stake in the company to Tower, which trades under the name TowerJazz.

A tentative agreement to this effect has been reached between the companies, Nikkei said without revealing sources. The three fabs employ about 2,500 workers and most of these would transfer to new company, with the rest being redeployed within Panasonic.

Tower operates two fabs in Israel and has acquired fabs in Newport Beach, California and in Nishiwaki, Japan. Tower is also a participant in a consortium preparing to build one or two wafer fabs in India.

Panasonic's fabs are used mainly for making chips that go in Panasonic system products but need upgrading to stay competitive the report said. Meanwhile Panasonic is also in talks to sell chip assembly plants it owns in China, Indonesia and Malaysia to a Singaporean company.

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