UMC announced plans to sell a 10 percent stake in the company to a strategic investor.
The foundry claims the deal is not for a financial purpose, but to create a strategic alliance.
The company sees major changes on the market and wants to respond to new challenges. In particular, UMC wants to sell the stake to either a major customer or a private equity group.
"We are offering private equity placement of a 10% for UMC equity and we welcome strategic partners. This is not for financial purpose, really for looking for strategic partners," said Shih-Wei Sun, chief executive of UMC, during a conversation with financial analysts.
The whole business model of contract manufacturing of chips is changing nowadays and requires tight collaborations between makers and customers on early stages of their joint projects. Foundries have to tailor process technologies for requirements of their customers, whereas clients have to design chips keeping in mind all the details of fabrication processes.