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Taiwan chip foundries merge

TSMC to buy WSMC in share swap, other deals to follow

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Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has bought its second chip maker in as many weeks. The foundry has announced a share swap which will see it merge with rival Worldwide Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (WSMC). The deal, to be finalised on 30 June, will see one TSMC share exchanged for every two WSMC shares, and will be worth around NT$17 billion (US$550.5 million). The company will trade as TSMC. WSMC is currently Taiwan's third biggest semiconductor foundry, with an eight-inch fab using 0.25 micron and 0.18 micron process technologies. Production from a second eight-inch WSMC wafer fab is due to kick off in March. The move follows TMSC's merger with Acer's chip arm, Taiwan Semiconductor-Acer Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp (TASMC), on 29 December. The two mergers are expected to swell TSMC's capacity to a throbbing 3.4 million eight-inch wafers in 2000, from its current 2.8 million. TSMC chairman Morris Chang was reported to have said his company's appetite for buyouts was unsated. "I cannot comment on individual cases, but we don't overlook any opportunities for mergers or alliances," he told Reuters. ® Related stories TSMC Acer to boost output by 40pc Acer Semi to merge with TSMC?

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