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Elmos to sell its Dortmund wafer fab to Littelfuse

Elmos & Littelfuse: Wafer Fab Sale

Elmos Semiconductor and Littelfuse, two leading semiconductor companies, have announced a significant development in the form of a definitive agreement regarding the sale of the Elmos wafer fab at the Dortmund site to Littelfuse. This strategic move is expected to have a profound impact on both companies and the semiconductor industry as a whole.

Under the terms of the agreement, Elmos has agreed to sell the wafer fab to Littelfuse at a net purchase price of approximately EUR 93 million. The Dortmund wafer fab, along with its cutting-edge technology team comprising around 225 highly skilled employees, will be acquired by Littelfuse. On the other hand, Elmos will retain all other activities, including testing operations, within its business portfolio.

This announcement comes after Elmos had previously signed a sale and purchase agreement with Swedish MEMS foundry Silex Microsystems AB in December 2021, aiming to transfer the fabrication activities of the Dortmund fab. However, the planned sale of the 200mm wafer fab was later blocked by Germany’s federal cabinet due to concerns surrounding its ownership. Silex Microelectronics, the parent company of Silex Microsystems AB, was acquired by Chinese company Nav Technology Co Ltd in 2015, which played a significant role in the decision to prohibit the sale.

By acquiring the Dortmund wafer fab, Littelfuse aims to enhance its capabilities in power semiconductors, particularly for high-growth power conversion applications such as renewables, energy storage, and e-Mobility charging infrastructure. This strategic move positions Littelfuse to leverage emerging opportunities in these key sectors and reinforces its commitment to innovation and industry leadership.

Dr. Arne Schneider, CEO of Elmos Semiconductor, expressed his enthusiasm about the agreement, stating, “Today’s agreement is a milestone for semiconductor production in Dortmund, and it will strengthen Germany’s standing as a high-tech location. As a fabless company, Elmos will make even greater use of advanced technologies to deliver groundbreaking innovations in mixed-signal semiconductors. Elmos is already the global market leader for certain applications in the automotive industry. We want to use this strong position to shape our future growth.”

Littelfuse, a globally recognized company operating in more than 20 countries with approximately 18,000 associates worldwide, already has a significant presence in Germany with various manufacturing, sales, and research and development sites. The acquisition of the Dortmund wafer fab further reinforces Littelfuse’s commitment to investing in strategic growth opportunities and expanding its footprint in key markets.

The closing of the transaction is expected to be effective on December 31, 2024, subject to the fulfillment of certain closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Until the closing date, Elmos will retain full operational control over the wafer fab.

Furthermore, as part of the agreement, Elmos and Littelfuse have also entered into a defined multi-year capacity-sharing arrangement, which will extend through 2029. This arrangement ensures a smooth transition and collaboration between the two companies, with Elmos committing to purchasing defined volumes of wafers produced at the Dortmund wafer fab.

Dr. Schneider added, “This is good news for the Elmos wafer fab team. We are delighted for Littelfuse to further develop the wafer fab in Dortmund for power semiconductors. Our employees are now expecting a quick review procedure by the relevant authorities.”

The Elmos-Littelfuse agreement signifies a significant step forward in the semiconductor industry, presenting new growth opportunities, technological advancements, and enhanced competitiveness in the dynamic world of power semiconductors.