SK hynix eyes full control of Key Foundry

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SK hynix eyes full control of Key Foundry

 
SK hynix, the world’s second largest memory chipmaker, is considering acquiring the remaining shares in Key Foundry, a local contract chipmaker. SK hynix already owns 49.8 percent.
 
Multiple local media outlets reported that SK hynix is in talks to buy the remaining 50.2 percent of the 8-inch wafer foundry house after appointing Samsung Securities and Gwangjang Law Firm as advisors.  
 
A spokesperson for the chipmaker said the company is looking into different ways of beefing up its contract chip manufacturing or foundry business, including mergers and acquisitions and expansion of existing facilities.  
 
The reports came after Park Jung-ho, Vice Chairman of SK hynix, vowed to double its foundry capacity and look for investments in chip manufacturing based on 8 inch wafers.  
 
Industry insiders say the focus on 8-inch wafers is connected with the current shortage in automobile chips that are manufactured on such wafers.  
 
The shortage has benefited foundries like Key Foundry and Taiwan’s UMC, helping them operate at full capacity.  
 
Key Foundry is a spinoff of the foundry division of Magnachip, which itself was spun off from Hynix Semiconductor, the predecessor of SK hynix, in 2004 after being sold to Citigroup’s venture capital arm.  
 
If SK hynix takes over Key Foundry, it will be reclaiming a unit it once owned.  
 
Key Foundry was split from Magnachip last year after the foundry was sold to Magnus PEF, which was jointly established by local private equity companies Alchemist Capital Partners and Gravity Private Equity.
 
SK hynix invested around 200 billion won into the fund to acquire the 49.8 percent stake in Key Foundry.  
 
BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]
 
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