Exclusive: TowerJazz Negotiates for Micron’s Fab-12

21 January, 2013

Today the fab manufacture mainly 45-65 nm Flash NOR memory chips in 200 mm silicon wafers. Its workforce consist about 1,200 employees

Micron's Fab-12 at Kityat-Gat
Micron’s Fab-12 at Kityat-Gat

The global specialty foundry TowerJazz (Nasdaq: TSEM) from Migdal Haemek, Israel, explores the possibility to acquire Micron’s Fab-12 in Kyriat-Gat in the south of Israel. Sources closed to the companies informed Techtime that the subject is under mutual discussions.

Micron Technology said in December 2012 that it plans to sell or close the plant within two years. “The Semiconductor Industry works in highly competitive and dynamic environment, and needs to maximize the expoit of its resources”, the company announced.

Fab-12 started as production site for Intel’s Pentium processors in 1999. In 2008 STMicroelectronics and Intel established Numonyx and the fab has became the company’s most advanced production plant. Numonyx was merged into Micron in 2010, and the fab lost its cutting edge position following the company’s decision to transfer all NOR production to its new 300 mm fab in Virginia, US.

Today the fab manufacture mainly 45-65 nm Flash NOR memory chips in 200 mm silicon wafers.  Its workforce consist about 1,200 employees.

Micron Technology, Inc., is one of the world’s leading providers of advanced semiconductor solutions. Through its worldwide operations, Micron manufactures and markets a full range of DRAM, NAND and NOR flash memory.

For the fourth quarter ended August 30, 2012, the company had a net loss of $243 million. For the 2012 fiscal year, the company had a net loss of $1.03 billion.

TowerJazz is a specialty foundry base in Israel. Ii operates 4 semiconductors fabs: two in Israel, one in the US and one in Japan. The Japaneese fab  (in the town of Nishiwaki) was bought from Micron in June 2011 for $140 million. The deal included Micron’s commitments for production capacity, and 6% of TowerJazz common shares that were transfered to Micron. It is possible that the current negotiation follows the same framework.

TowerJazz third quarter 2012 revenue reached $154.6 million. Revenues were in line with the Company’s guidance range of between $152 to $162 million. Third quarter 2012 revenue represents a decline of 8 percent compared to the previous quarter and 12 percent compared with third quarter 2011 revenue of $176.1 million.


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