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Scottish ex-Moto chip factory to close

Freescale swings the claymore

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Chip maker Freescale will close its Scottish plant with the loss of hundreds of jobs, after failing to find a buyer for the facility.

About 750 highly-skilled manufacturing jobs will be axed at the East Kilbride site, along with up to 100 support roles. The 25-acre site was opened by Motorola in 1969.

Austin, Texas-headquartered Freescale was created in 2004 when Motorola spun out its loss-making chip division. It was picked up by private equity in December 2006 and has continued to haemorrhage cash.

The decision to close the plant comes after tumbling sales prompted a review of the plant's future last year, as part of business-wide cuts. The Herald reports the company said: "All options have now been fully examined and the only current option appears to be potential closure."

Freescale East Kilbride supplies the car industry, but has seen falling demand for chips fabbed using its outdated equipment. A spokesman said: "We anticipate that we will be shipping wafers out of the fab until at least Q2 2009." ®

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