Thursday, May 30, 2024

Intel nears €10.2bn deal to build a plant in Ireland 

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US computer chip making giant Intel is reportedly in advanced talks with an asset management company to provide more than $11bn (€10.2bn) to build a plant in Ireland.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Intel is seeking to partner with Apollo Global Management in a deal which could come together over the next few weeks.

Intel has been operating in Ireland for decades and employs 5,000 people in Ireland, most of whom are based at its manufacturing sites in Leixlip, Co Kildare. It also has a research and development facility with about 300 people in Shannon, Co Clare.

The report suggested a number of investment firms had been in the running for this deal but Apollo has pulled ahead in recent weeks and is now in exclusive talks with Intel. Apollo is based in New York and oversees over $670bn in assets.

News of this investment comes as Intel’s chief executive Pat Gelsinger seeks to expand its operations in Ireland, Ohio, Arizona, and other locations as it looks to capitalise on the rising demand for computer chips.

Intel has been under pressure from rivals in the sector over the last few years, with many eclipsing the company.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing currently dominates the chip foundry market and has eclipsed Intel in overall revenue.

Intel’s closest rival in its traditional business is Advanced Micro Devices, which had revenue of $22.7bn and net income of $854m last year. Its gross margin was 50%.

Nvidia meanwhile, has quickly emerged as the star of the industry, largely as a result of the boom in AI and its demands on processing power. Though it does not yet have the revenue of TSMC, its sales more than doubled last year — and another stratospheric gain is projected for this year.

Intel has embarked on a record-setting expansion of its factories in the US and Europe, taking advantage of government incentives such as the Chips and Science Act. But even with that support, it is an expensive undertaking that has put investors on edge.

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