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Japanese govt -backed fund completes $6.5B takeover of chip maker JSR Corp

A Japanese government-backed fund said Wednesday it has completed the $6.5-billion takeover of chip equipment maker JSR Corp, a deal part of Tokyo’s efforts to boost its once-mighty semiconductor sector.

JSR is a leading player globally in photoresists, light-sensitive materials that are vital for making chips, used to etch minuscule patterns on silicon wafers.

Its board agreed in June to the 900-billion-yen offer from Japan Investment Corporation (JIC), which expired on Wednesday with 84.36 percent of shares tendered, JIC said in a statement.

Japan and other countries are boosting domestic chip-making since crippling shortages in the Covid pandemic laid bare weaknesses in global supply chains.

Tokyo is making up to four trillion yen ($26 billion) in state subsidies to help triple the sales of domestically produced chips to more than 15 trillion yen by 2030.

In February, chip behemoth Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) opened a new $8.6-billion factory in southern Japan, with the government stumping up around 40 percent of the costs.

Others getting state funds include US firm Micron as well as a joint venture between Japanese firms and IBM known as Rapidus scheduled to make next-generation chips from 2027.

Japan dominated the market in the 1980s but competition from South Korea and Taiwan saw its global market share slump from more than 50 percent to around 10 percent now.

JIC, founded in 2018 with the Japanese government as majority shareholder, is also leading a consortium buying Fujistu’s chip packaging unit Shinko Electric in a 700-billion-yen ($4.5-billion) deal. AFP

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