Intel is acquiring Tower Semiconductor for $5.4 billion

It's part of its efforts to expand its business of making chips for other companies.

Santa Clara, California, USA - February 4, 2011: Headquartes for computer chip-making giant Intel. Founded in 1968 Intel introduced the world's first microprocessor in 1971. (JasonDoiy via Getty Images)

Intel could soon announce a nearly $6 billion acquisition that would give its fledgling foundry business a boost, according to The Wall Street Journal. The chip giant is reportedly close to clinching a deal to purchase Israeli chip company Tower Semiconductor, and it could be announced sometime this week unless the talks suddenly fall apart.

Tower, which has a market value of around $3.6 billion, produces various types of chips for clients across industries, including automakers and medical and industrial equipment manufacturers. Its website shows that it has seven fabrication facilities located in Israel, Italy, the US and Japan making 6-inch, 8-inch and 12-inch chips. Tom's Hardware says the manufacturing processes it uses aren't cutting edge, but the chips it makes don't need the latest technologies anyway. Tower only needs to reliably and regularly generate large volumes of chips.

Before Tower, Intel was reported to be in talks to purchase the much larger chip manufacturer and AMD spinoff GlobalFoundries for around $30 billion. It didn't push through, however, and GlobalFoundries chose to pursue an initial public offering instead.

Intel launched its foundry services back in 2021 when it committed $20 billion to build two Arizona factories and explained that it will be run as its own business unit. Earlier this year, the company also revealed its plans to build a massive semiconductor facility in Ohio that it's hoping would become "the largest silicon manufacturing location on the planet." It will use the fabs in the complex to manufacture both its chips and chips for clients under its foundry services.

Update 02/15/22 4:13AM ET: Intel has announced that it has acquired Tower Semiconductor for $5.4 billion or $53 per share in cash. Company CEO Pat Gelsinger said in a statement: "Tower’s specialty technology portfolio, geographic reach, deep customer relationships and services-first operations will help scale Intel's foundry services and advance our goal of becoming a major provider of foundry capacity globally."

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