Infineon acquires Wolfspeed for USD 850 million

Infineon acquires Wolfspeed for USD 850 million

Infineon Technologies has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Wolfspeed Power and RF division (“Wolfspeed”) of Cree for USD 850 million.

The deal also includes the related SiC wafer substrate business for power and RF power. This acquisition will enable Infineon to provide broadest offering in compound semiconductors, it will also reinforce the company as a leading supplier of power and RF power solutions in high-growth markets such as electro-mobility, renewables and next-generation cellular infrastructure relevant for IoT.

North Carolina, USA based Wolfspeed has been a part of Cree for almost three decades. Wolfspeed is a provider of SiC-based power and GaN-on-SiC-based RF power solutions. This also includes the related core competencies in wafer substrate manufacturing for SiC, as well as for SiC with a monocrystalline GaN layer for RF power applications. With these competencies, more than 550 highly skilled employees and a strong IP portfolio of approximately 2,000 patents and patent applications, this deal complements Infineon’s previous acquisition of International Rectifier in early 2015.

Combining the comprehensive portfolios of technologies, products and manufacturing capabilities, Infineon and Wolfspeed will accelerate the development of components enabling customers to develop differentiating systems.

Major areas where the applications will profit from SiC are renewables and especially automotive. Both areas benefit from the increased power density and improved efficiency. Combining both portfolios and competencies will significantly accelerate the time-to-market for new products based on compound semiconductors.

GaN-on-Si allows higher levels of integration and offers its advantages at operating frequencies of up to 10 gigahertz. GaN-on-SiC enables maximum efficiency at frequencies of up to 80 gigahertz. Both technologies are crucial for next generation cellular infrastructure standards.

The combined portfolio advances Infineon’s strategic “Product to System” approach. Additionally, Infineon will benefit from accelerating the adoption of SiC- and GaN-based components in early-adopter markets, e.g. electro-mobility, high-end photovoltaic inverter, xEV charging infrastructure, and RF power components in cellular infrastructure.

The acquisition will be immediately accretive to Infineon’s adjusted earnings-per-share and margin. Infineon will fund the transaction with bank financing of US Dollar 720 million and US Dollar 130 million of cash-on-hand. Infineon will maintain its strong balance sheet after the cash- and debt-financed transaction. Closing of the transaction is expected by the end of calendar year 2016.

Reinhard Ploss, CEO of Infineon Technologies AG, said: “Joining forces with Wolfspeed represents a unique growth opportunity. Wolfspeed’s and Infineon’s businesses and expertise are highly complementary, bringing together industry leading experts for compound semiconductors. This will enable us to create additional value for our customers with the broadest and deepest portfolio of innovative technologies and products in compound semiconductors available in the market. With Wolfspeed we will become number one in SiC-based power semiconductors. We also want to become number one in RF power. This will accelerate the market introduction of these innovative technologies, addressing the needs of modern society – such as energy efficiency, connectivity and mobility.”

 “By joining the Infineon team, Wolfspeed will now have all the advantages of a global company in our sector, including the ability to leverage Infineon’s market reach and infrastructure. With Infineon’s complementary culture and additional investment, we’ll be better positioned to unlock the potential of our portfolio and our people,” said Frank Plastina, Wolfspeed CEO.

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