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Abu Dhabi takes active role over GloFo deal

Posted: 27 Nov 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Globalfoundries? Abu Dhabi? Mubadala? FinFET?

According to a Bloomberg report that cited unnamed sources, Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Development Co. has talked with potential buyers for all or part of Globalfoundries Inc. The report revealed that the company might fetch $15 billion or $20 billion if a deal goes ahead but did not cite any potential buyers.

However, it was reported back in September that Hua Capital Management, which looks after China's national IC investment fund, had approached Globalfoundries over possible cooperation.

Abu Dhabi is reviewing its state-owned companies, including Mubadala, for potential asset sales as the emirates finances come under pressure due to the current collapse in oil prices. Oil has been trading at just over $40 per barrel during 2015 while it was in excess of $100 per barrel from 2010 to 2014.

The emirate moved into chip manufacturing in 2009 by taking over the manufacturing operations of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and merging them with the Singapore-based Chartered Semiconductor in January 2010. The justification was to help Abu Dhabi develop diversify its economy away from oil and to bring semiconductor manufacturing to the region. However, plans to build a wafer fab in Abu Dhabi seem to have gone on permanent hold.

In recent years, Globalfoundries has been collaborating with Samsung by licensing its 14nm FinFET process technology. Globalfoundries in Europe is also pushing hard to try and make a success of a 22nm FDSOI manufacturing process.

A break up of the company would be complex but might serve the interests of multiple parties interested in Globalfoundries manufacturing capabilities in New York State, Dresden and Singapore.

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times Europe

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