The Daily Telegraph

Former owner seeks to buy UK microchip plant from Nexperia

- By Matthew Field

THE former owner of Britain’s biggest microchip factory is plotting a bid to reclaim the plant from its Chinese-backed owner Nexperia amid a national security investigat­ion into the original sale.

Drew Nelson, who sold Newport Wafer Fab to Dutch company Nexperia for £63m in 2021, is considerin­g a bid with investment firm Paladin Investment Partners, sources confirmed.

The Department for Business has been scrutinisi­ng Nexperia’s £63m takeover of the Welsh plant since May amid claims it represents a security risk and a strategic blow to Britain’s semiconduc­tor sector. Nexperia, which is owned by Chinese company Wingtech, has insisted the deal poses no such concerns and argued it saved 500 jobs.

Officials are expected to require Nexperia to reduce its ownership of the plant. A final decision is expected by Oct 3, according to the Financial Times.

Mr Nelson has first refusal to buy back the plant in the event of a sale. A spokesman for Mr Nelson declined to comment. Nexperia declined to comment.

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