British and Welsh government have been accused of being a “mess” in deciding on the sale of the UK’s largest chipmaker, Newport Wafer Fab.
Both governments missed the chance to halt the £63m sale of Newport Wafer to Chinese-owned Nexperia in 2021.
The National Security and Investment law, introduced in January, sought to give minister greater powers in blocking deals surrounding critical infrastructure, or which could breach national security.
Decision-making around the deal was a “mess” and showed a “lack of foresight”, a Whitehall insider told The Times today, as the government reviews its strategy of semiconductors, which are used in most of today’s electronics.
Newport Wafer was reportedly pushed towards the takeover amid a worsening financial situation, having failed to access UK government funds and Covid schemes.
Should the British government find security concerns with the deal, due to Nexperia’s ties to China, it could force a sale of Newport Wafer Fab.
A government spokesperson said: “The acquisition of Newport Wafer Fab by Nexperia was called in for a full national security assessment by the business secretary on 25 May. It would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage while the assessment is ongoing.”
City A.M. has contacted Nexperia Newport for comment.