ST Assembly buys micro-chip tester Winstek

ST Assembly Test Services (Stats) has bought 51 percent of Taiwanese micro-chip tester Winstek Semiconductor for US$28 million.

SINGAPORE--ST Assembly Test Services (Stats) has bought 51 percent of Taiwanese micro-chip tester Winstek Semiconductor for US$28 million.

Up until this deal, mainboard-listed Stats had no manufacturing operations outside of Singapore.

The acquisition will raise Stats' testing capacity by 5 to 8 percent. It also gives Stats a foothold in Taiwan, where Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co and United Microelectronics Corp, the biggest wafer foundries are located.

"Winstek will provide Stats with the platform to significantly increase our presence in Taiwan," Stats chairman and CEO Tan Bock Seng told The Business Times. He said that the investment in Winstek was part of a plan to make Stats a leading test house in Taiwan.

"With Winstek, we can serve our existing customers better and also seek new businesses from among companies that take wafers from the fabs in Taiwan," he added.

Last week, Stats warned that it would see losses in the third quarter. It had reported a net loss of US$31.7 million for its second quarter.

Winstek, which was started in April 2000, believes that the deal will help it expand. "With Stats' technological and financial strength behind us, we are confident we can grow to become one of the leading test houses in Taiwan," said president Richard Weng.

Stats closed unchanged yesterday at S$1.55.