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Altis Semi finds buyer

August 13, 2010 // Mark LaPedus

Altis Semi finds buyer

After months of uncertainty and confusion, Altis Semiconductor SA, a joint venture between Infineon Technologies AG and IBM Corp., has finally found a buyer. But will the deal go through? Over the years, IBM and Infineon have experienced problems unloading the venture.

On Thursday, IBM and Infineon Technologies said they closed a transaction to sell 100 percent of the share capital of Altis Semiconductor to a new corporation, dubbed Altis International. Altis International is owned by Yazid Sabeg. The French entrepreneur is also chairman of the board of CS Communication & Systèmes which is specialized in communications and security systems.

IBM and Infineon said this completes the divestment of their joint venture Altis Semiconductor in France. IBM and Infineon have also entered into supply agreements with Altis Semiconductor and will continue to use the production facility in France under their silicon foundry sourcing strategies and as a subcontractor for wafer test services.

Altis has been used by Infineon and IBM to perform production of electronic components using 0.25-micron aluminum technology to 0.13-micron copper technology mainly for communications, automotive and security applications.
Altis has been on the block for some time. The chip maker started off as a joint MRAM maker between IBM and Infineon, but those efforts failed. The efforts to sell Altis date back at least three years, but several attempts to sell the joint venture to Russian, Swiss and other investors failed.

Last year, Altis was apparently acquried by Germain Djouhri, a French-Algerian financier who is prepared to invest 79 million euros ($118 million) in the company, according to reports. That deal apparently fell through.

Also last year, Altis Semiconductor was turned into an independent foundry service.  

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