After announcing the deal last year, Intel will no longer acquire Tower Semiconductor for $5.4 billion, the company announced in a press release. It was unable to "obtain in a timely manner the regulatory approvals required under the merger agreement" it wrote — specifically in China, according to Bloomberg. Tower produces various types of chips for clients across multiple industries, and Intel made the acquisition to expand its foundry business and better compete with rivals like Taiwanese giant TSMC.
Tower has seven fabrication facilities (located in Israel, Italy, the US and Japan) that build 6-inch, 8-inch and 12-inch chip wafers. While the company doesn't manufacture cutting edge mobile and other process, its clients don't necessarily need the latest technology. Instead, Tower focuses on reliably manufacturing large volumes of chips for automakers, equipment manufacturers, medical industries and others.
Before announcing its Tower acquisition, Intel was reported to be in talks to purchase the much larger chip manufacturer and AMD spinoff GlobalFoundries for around $30 billion. Intel launched its foundry services as a separate business unit back in 2021, committing $20 billion to build two Arizona factories. It also revealed plans to build a massive semiconductor facility in Ohio designed to become "the largest silicon manufacturing location on the planet."
Intel said its still executing its roadmap "to retain transistor performance and power performance leadership by 2025," with the aim of becoming the second-largest global external foundry by 2030. "Our respect for Tower has only grown through this process, and we will continue to look for opportunities to work together in the future." As part of its merger agreement, Intel will pay a termination fee of $353 million to Tower.