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French smart chip maker Linxens surrenders to Chinese cash

by on26 July 2018

Tsinghua Unigroup writes 2.2 billion euro cheque  

Chinese chipmaker Tsinghua Unigroup has written a 2.2 billion euro cheque for the French smart chip components maker Linxens.

Tsinghua’s acquisition of Linxens from private-equity group CVC is still pending regulatory clearance and signed off by France, Germany and the company’s union.

The authorities are not expected to object, the sources said on condition of anonymity as the information is confidential.

Tsinghua has already locked in a deal with four banks for a 1.5 billion euro bridge loan to fund the transaction.

Before the Linxens deal, Tsinghua Unigroup accumulated a stake in Germany’s Dialog Semiconductor, buying into share price weakness as the Anglo-German chipmaker faced uncertainty over its business relationship with Apple, its largest customer, towards the end of last year.

The stake, held via two wholly owned subsidiaries, reached nine percent in December, according to company filings, making the Chinese investor the single largest shareholder in Dialog. Tsinghua did not respond to requests for comment at the time.

Linxens, has 535 million euro in annual sales and employs 3,500 staff at nine production sites globally. It also has offices in China, Singapore and Thailand.

It does not have a US presence and makes connectors crucial for communication between smart cards and electronic readers. It also makes antennas and inlays for applications such as contactless payment, transport and access.

Last modified on 26 July 2018
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