Monday, May 27, 2024

Intel in talks with Apollo for $11bn chip plant in Ireland

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Last month, Intel disappointed investors with a lower-than-expected forecast for the current quarter as its foundry business took a 10pc dip in global revenue.

Intel is in talks with Apollo Global Management to finalise a deal in which the investment firm will give it more than $11bn to build a new chip factory in Ireland.

The deal, first reported by the Wall Street Journal today (13 May), is expected to close in the coming weeks according to people familiar with the matter.

Ireland is one of several locations across the world that Intel is planning to expand and build new chip factories in – including the US states of Arizona and Ohio – to meet a surge in demand for semiconductors and compete with the likes of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Samsung.

The ongoing deal comes just weeks after Intel posted a disappointing earnings forecast that saw shares fall around 8pc in the immediate aftermath of the report. Revenue from Intel Foundry – its three-year-old contract chipmaking business – was down 10pc to $4.4bn.

Earlier this year, the company shared details of its financial results from the past few years, showing a significant decline for its foundry business – which reported operating losses of nearly $7bn last year. These losses are expected to grow.

To keep up in the global AI race, Intel unveiled a new AI chip called Gaudi 3 last month that it claims has better performance and energy efficiency than its Nvidia counterpart, the popular H100.

The company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, has had operation in Ireland for decades. Last summer, Intel reached an important milestone in its Fab 34 facility in Leixlip, Co Kildare, when it began running its “First Full Loop” of silicon.

Work began on this fab in 2019. The site also received a boost when Intel announced a €33bn investment to boost its semiconductor manufacturing in Europe.

Other than through investment funds, Intel has also been sourcing cash from the US government’s Chips Act. In March, Intel bagged $8.5bn through US funding to boost domestic production of semiconductors and continue expanding across the country.

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