The government’s failure to complete the security review of Nexperia’s takeover of Newport Wafer Fab risks hurting the UK’s semiconductor industry, CEO of British semiconductor startup Paragraf told City A.M.
“Not making the decision is more damaging than making the wrong decision sometimes,” Simon Thomas said.
Thomas described the looming national security review as the “elephant in the room” as industry waits for the government to publish its national semiconductor strategy.
“Every day that goes by at the moment, we are falling behind the rest of the world. Look at the rate at which they’re pushing the Chips Act in the US. They’re going hell for leather on it, and we’re not even making a decision on a single company,” Thomas added.
“I cannot understand how they will make a strong strategy if they haven’t even sorted out simple things like national security decisions.”
“We’ve still got this elephant in the room that we’ve still not made a decision on and that is a major part of the supply chain,” Thomas said.
Westminster launched an investigation into the takeover in May using powers from the National Security and Investment Act.
Nexperia is a Dutch subsidiary of Chinese firm Wingtech Technology.
The company said it should approve the sale of the country’s biggest chipmaker to build a “healthy” semiconductor industry.
Toni Versluijs, UK managing director at Nexperia, told City A.M. that the government should approve the sale of the country’s biggest chipmaker to Nexperia to help build a “healthy” semiconductor industry.
“It would not be appropriate for government to provide a running commentary of the national security review,” a government spokesperson said.
“The government is committed to supporting the UK’s semiconductor industry and is reviewing our capability and working closely with the industry so we can grow the sector and ensure greater supply chain resilience.”