According to several media publications, the US authorities assess the planned takeover as a risk to the national security of the United States. In 2016, Infineon agreed with Cree on a takeover.
With the move, Infineon intended to add valuable expertise in the technology of compound semiconductors. Such semiconductors, namely silicon carbide (SiC) are regarded as a major technological improvement in the markets of electromobility. SiC power transistors could help to make DC/DC converters for electric powertrains and for the charging infrastructure smaller and more efficient.
The price for the takeover would be €795 million ($850 million). The new assessment from the US authorities creates a “substantial risk” that the transaction would not be feasible in the form planned. Cree added that both partners are now considering a “modified transaction”. Infineon said it will continue to closely cooperate with CFIUS to find a solution.
This is already the second time that US authorities intervene in a planned transaction in the semiconductor market. Past December, the then Obama-led US administration prohibited the acquisition of semiconductor equipment manufacturer Aixtron by a China-controlled investor.