DigiTimes, a daily newspaper for semiconductor, electronics, computer and communications industries in Taiwan and the Greater China region, reported on Feb. 15 that Global Foundries may be sold after its downsizing that started last year.
Global Foundries is currently the world’s third-largest foundry company with a global market share of 8.4 percent behind TSMC and Samsung Electronics. The company sold its 200 mm fab located in Singapore to Vanguard International Semiconductor on Jan. 31. It dismissed 5 percent of its employees for cost-related reasons last year.
Experts point out that these moves are for Global Foundries to sell itself after having fallen behind in its competition with Samsung Electronics and TSMC. TSMC is currently accounting for 50 percent of the global foundry market and Samsung Electronics is planning to concentrate its resources on non-memory semiconductors.
At present, ATIC, a state-run enterprise of the United Arab Emirates, is the largest shareholder in Global Foundries with a shareholding of 90 percent. “Global Foundries is unlikely to be bought by a Chinese company such as SMIC in that the U.S. government is keeping China in check in various industries,” said an industry insider, adding, “The most potential candidates include South Korean companies such as Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, and Samsung Electronics can increase its share in the market to 23 percent at once if it takes over Global Foundries.”