NXP Selling Products Unit for $2.75 Billion to Chinese Group

  • Buyers are Jianguang Asset Management and Wise Road Capital
  • Nexperia business had $1.2 billion in revenue in 2015

NXP Semiconductors NV, which last year merged with Freescale Semiconductor, is selling its standard products business to a group of Chinese investors for $2.75 billion, furthering that country’s efforts to acquire chip assets and reduce imports.

China’s Beijing Jianguang Asset Management Co. and Wise Road Capital Ltd. will be the new owners of the business, NXP said in a statement on its website. The unit, which had revenue of $1.2 billion in 2015, will transfer about 11,000 NXP employees to a new company that will be called Nexperia.

The world’s most populous nation is seeking to buy up semiconductor capabilities to strengthen its domestic industry and replace imports that have sucked almost as much cash out of the country as oil purchases. China’s push to acquire overseas expertise has faced obstacles as government regulators in the U.S. have expressed concern about the transfer of technology that could be used by the military.

NXP, based in Eindhoven, Netherlands, said it has two focus areas for the proceeds of the sale of the division, which makes diodes, transistors and other basic parts used in cars, industrial equipment and consumer electronics.

“One is reducing overall debt at the company, and two is making acquisitions to increase the asset base,” Dan Durn, chief financial officer of NXP, said Tuesday during a conference call. The CFO explained that taxes on the transaction are expected to be about $450 million, meaning the net proceeds of the sale would be about $2.3 billion.

Shares, which trade on the Nasdaq, were little changed at $87.34 at 9:40 a.m. in New York. They closed down 1.2 percent on Monday.

China Push

Beijing Jianguang, part of China Jianyin Investment Ltd., was established to invest businesses in the semiconductor, information technology, networking, data service, cloud computing and telecommunications industries, according to the statement. Wise Road Capital is a global private equity fund with a similar mandate, and also invests in renewable energies, smart cities and advanced manufacturing.

China has been trying to free itself from a heavy reliance on foreign technology, with semiconductors seen by the nation’s political leadership as vital to national security. State-affiliated groups, most notably Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd., have sought out semiconductor investments to get into everything from chip designs for mobile phones to large-scale manufacturing.

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