Rumors are going around the web that chip foundry Globalfoundries may be up for sale as its owner is exploring asset sales amid the slump in crude oil. Globalfoundries was founded in 2009 as the divestiture of AMD's manufacturing arm, and over the years it scooped up Chartered Semiconductor as well as assets from IBM. Three years ago AMD sold its final shares in the company, making Abu Dhabi sovereign fund Mubadala Development Co. the sole owner of the chip maker.
Now it seems Mubadala is considering to get rid of all or parts of the chip maker in a transaction that could value the business at $15 billion to $20 billion. Bloomberg heard the state-owned investment arm held early with potential acquirers, but the site acknowleges that no final decision has been made and discussions could still fall apart.
Abu Dhabi is reviewing state-owned companies, including Mubadala, for potential asset sales, as the slump in crude oil pressures the emirate’s finances, people familiar with the matter said last month. The emirate had a long-term plan to build a chip factory there to diversify its economy away from a dependence on oil.
The company’s also been investing. In October, Globalfoundries acquired International Business Machines Corp.’s chip unit, with IBM paying them $1.5 billion to take the unprofitable business off its hands. The same month, Mubadala formed a joint venture with Trafigura Beheer BV to take a 50 percent stake in three Spanish mines.