Intel and Tower Semiconductor Abandon $5.4 Billion Merger Amid Regulatory Challenges

In a significant turn of events, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) and Israeli chipmaker Tower Semiconductor Ltd (NASDAQ: TSEM), have decided to abandon their $5.4 billion merger agreement because the two companies couldn’t secure the necessary regulatory approvals in time.

Although the specifics of the regulatory hang-ups were not disclosed, it’s speculated that Chinese approval was the sticking point. This comes in the wake of rising tensions between the US and China, with issues ranging from trade disputes to intellectual property concerns increasingly impacting cross-border corporate transactions, particularly those involving tech companies.

“After careful consideration and thorough discussions and having received no indications regarding certain required regulatory approval, both parties have agreed to terminate their merger agreement having passed the August 15, 2023 outside date,” reads a statement from Tower Semiconductor.

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger actively sought the deal’s green light from Chinese authorities, even traveling to China just a month prior. Irrespective of the failed Tower deal, the company is aggressively investing in its foundry business, a segment that manufactures chips for other firms.

Moreover, despite the dampened demand for Intel’s chips post-pandemic, the firm has embarked on a cost-cutting mission, targeting savings between $8 billion to $10 billion by 2025. Interestingly, amidst the backdrop of these developments, Israel received a commitment from Intel for a $25 billion investment in a new factory, marking a record international investment for the middle-eastern country. Given these moves, the Tower deal— priced at $53 per share, began to lose its lustre among investors, reflected in Tower’s share price plummeting to less than $34 even before the deal was officially terminated.

Information for this story was found via Tower Semiconductor and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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