President Obama blocks Chinese bid for Aixtron

December 06, 2016 // By Peter Clarke
President Obama has issued an order prohibiting the acquisition of the US business of metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) equipment vendor Aixtron SE (Herzogenrath, Germany) by China-controlled Grand Chip Investment GmbH.

Aixtron has been under tender offer for the whole of its business since May 2016 in a deal that valued the business at €670 million (about $700 million). Aixtron and the bidder subsequently opted to ignore a US recommendation to abandon the deal from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). This was the point at which CFIUS passed the matter to the President.

The Presidential Order defines the US business of Aixtron as including Aixtron Inc. and any asset of Aixtron SE used for activities in interstate commerce in the US by Aixtron Inc. including US patents and patent applications. The order is limited to US business and does not prohibit the acquisition of Aixtron SE shares and ADSs by Grand Chip Investment but the ban on the use of US patents and not include US operations could be an effective block on the deal.

The indirect owner of Grand Chip Investment GmbH is Fujian Grand Chip Investment Fund LP, of which 51 percent is held by the Chinese business man Zhendong Liu and 49 percent by Xiamen Bohao Investment Ltd.

Aixtron said that, along with the bidder, it is evaluating the impact of the order and will coordinate with the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) to examine the consequences of the order for any takeover.

Related links and articles:

www.aixtron.com

Presidential Order

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