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PETALING JAYA: Dagang Nexchange Bhd’s (DNeX) acquisition of Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s loss-making semiconductor unit, Silterra, is considered timely, given the global chip shortage caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic.
An analyst said global demand for chips will provide the much-needed impetus for DneX to turn around Silterra.
“The global pandemic last year saw consumers stocking up on items such as laptops and other electronic devices, which resulted in inventories being squeezed.
“Furthermore, many people bought more cars than initially projected, during a time when most auto companies were forced to shut down production as a result of government-imposed lockdowns. This strained supplies further,” he said.
According to the Semiconductor Industry Association, global semiconductor sales are projected to increase 5.1% in 2020 to US$433.1bil (RM1.76 trillion) from US$412.3bil (RM1.67 trillion) in 2019, followed by an increase of 8.4% in 2021.
DNeX announced on Wednesday that it had teamed up with Beijing Integrated Circuit Advanced Manufacturing and High-End Equipment Equity Investment Fund Centre (CGP Fund) to acquire Silterra for RM273mil.
DNeX said it would acquire a 60% equity interest in Silterra while CGP Fund would acquire the remaining 40%.
“The purchase consideration for DNeX’s 60% stake will amount to about RM163.8mil, which will be funded through a combination of proceeds to be raised from a proposed private placement, internally generated funds and or borrowings.
“The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2021, with the capital injection expected to be within 180 days thereafter,” it said.
DNeX said the acquisition is part of its expansion and diversification plan.
Separately in a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, DNeX said it had issued 16.6 million new shares at 50 sen each from a warrant exercise that will be listed today.
Following the issuance of the new shares, DNeX’s latest issued share capital will stand at 2.24 billion shares.
Silterra, which was initially known as Wafer Technology Sdn Bhd, was conceptualised in 1995 and officially launched in 2001.
When it started to hit 100% capacity beginning 2007, Khazanah stopped pumping in funds. Despite Silterra’s strong manufacturing capacity with its existing facilities, it has not been able to run efficiently, with staff costs alone running to RM130mil annually.
For the first half of 2020, Silterra’s losses came up to RM172mil on the back of a revenue of RM397mil while its reserves were at a negative amount of RM1.8bil.
Khazanah has pumped in more than RM2bil into Silterra over the years, which has posted accumulated losses of more than RM8bil.