MUNICH, Germany Altis Semiconductor will have to make its money as an independent foundry services provider after it will be sold to a private investor. At the opportunity of its 2009 figures announcement, officials of parent company Infineon acknowledged that the sales contract closure is imminent.
As reported earlier, Altis parents IBM and Infineon are in negotiations to sell their French semiconductor joint venture to an investor. "The plan is to turn Altis into a foundry", said Infineon CEO Peter Bauer in an interview with EE Times. We will guarantee for a certain production volume but additional volume will be generated through Altis' own foundry activities."
Infineon as well as JV partner IBM will fit Altis with a set of "good technologies", Bauer said. This refers to embedded flash as well as to future technologies. "They will be equipped very well," he added.
Infineon Executive Vice President Reinhard Ploss who oversees the chip maker's production activities added that the investor has support from French politics. He said he expects the closure of the deal within the next few weeks. "The contract details will be cleared very soon, but we cannot announce anything today", he said.
The efforts to sell Altis date back at least two years but several attempts to sell the joint venture to Russian investors have failed. The current suitor, Germain Djouhri is a low-profile entrepreneur who aired the intention to invest 79 million (about $ 118 million) into the plant. Reportedly Djouri's father had close connections to France's former president Jacques Chirac.
Additional reporting by Anne-Francoise Pele
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