TSMC takes stake in SMIC for nothing after legal dispute

The Investment Commission of Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) has just approved a move which will see TSMC about to take a stake in Chinese Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC).

TSMC and SMIC battled quietly late last year over a trade secrets legal dispute, SMIC eventually agreeing to hand over US $200 million and to give an eight percent stake to TSMC without payment. TSMC also grabbed the chance to buy out an additional two percent of SMIC for only NT $5.30 per share – about 16 US cents.

The MOEA has OK’d the ruling because an acquisition probably won’t impact TSMC’s overall finances, and the company will not be involved in SMIC’s operations afterwards, so there aren’t concerns about technology or equipment transfers. It won’t affect TSMC’s position as a global leader, reckons the MOEA, so all is fine.

The regulating body also said that TSMC is planning to splurge US $4.8 billion on capital expenditure in Taiwan this year to bring production capacity up by 13 percent, reports Focus Taiwan. 

The MOEA is pleased because TSMC will be paying out a lot of money to Taiwanese construction firms and equipment managers, and will be recruiting a further 5,000 employees this year in what it hopes will do small wonders for local manufacturing.