Panasonic sells its 49% Stake in TPSCo to Nuvoton

Photo above: TPSCo fab in Uozu, Japan

In order to to strengthen its financial results,Panasonic Corp. transfer its unprofitable semiconductor operations to Nuvoton Technology Corporation from Taiwan. The company did not reveal financial details, but Zacks SCR’s analyst,  Lisa Thompson, wrote in her update that it is a $250 million in cash deal.

For TowerJazz it is a big news. The Israeli-based semiconductors foundry holds 51% in TPSCo, a company formed by TowerJazz and Panasonic (49%) in April 2014 following the transfer of its semiconductor manufacturing process and capacity tools of 8 inch and 12 inch wafers at its Hokuriku factories (Uozu, Tonami and Arai) to TPSCo.

Panasonic announced that it will transfer the semiconductor business mainly operated by Panasonic Semiconductor Solutions (PSCS), to Nuvoton Technology Corporation, a Taiwan-based semiconductor company owned (62%) by Winbond Electronics. The deal is expected to end in June 2020.

The Competion is “Aggressive”

Panasonic explained in a press release that the competitive environment surrounding the semiconductor business has become extremely severe due to aggressive expansion of competitors, huge investments and industry reorganization through M&A. “In such an environment, the Company has come to believe that the even stronger business operation and the continuous investment is critical in order to achieve a sustained growth and expansion of the semiconductor business. Accordingly, it has concluded that the best option would be to transfer the business to Nuvoton.”

Nuvoton Technology was spun-off as a Winbond affiliate in 2008 while Winbond continues to focus on its large Memory business. Nuvoton provides Microcontrollers, Platform Modules for the PC industry and Mixed Signal devices such as Speech Playback and Record Products with embedded Flash, Audio Power Amplifiers, Audio ADC’s/DAC’s and CODECS. The deal with Panasonic includes technology know how transfer of technologies such as image sensors, battery management and MOSFET for LiB battery circuits protection.