Cree to Sell Wolfspeed Division to Infineon

Durham, North Carolina-based Cree Inc. has agreed to sell Wolfspeed to Infineon Technologies AG. Wolfspeed, which is based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, also holds Cree’s SiC wafer substrate business for power and RF power devices. Infineon will pay Cree about $850 million (approximately Euro 740 million) in the planned all-cash transaction. Cree says that selling off the Wolfspeed will let it focus on growing its LED lighting business. The companies intend to close the transaction by the end of the calendar year 2016.

Infineon says that the acquisition will enable it to offer the broadest range of compound semiconductors including silicon carbide (SiC), gallium nitride (GaN) on silicon, and GaN-on-SiC. Infineon also says the acquisition will further strengthen it as a supplier of power and RF power solutions markets such as electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, renewable energy, and next-generation cellular infrastructure that is relevant for IoT.

Frank Plastina, Wolfspeed’s CEO, noted that joining Infineon will give the company the ability to leverage Infineon’s infrastructure and market reach.

Chuck Swoboda, Cree chairman and CEO, said, “After much consideration and due diligence over the past year, we concluded that selling Wolfspeed to Infineon was the best decision for our shareholders, employees and customers. We believe that Wolfspeedwill now be able to more aggressively commercialize its unique silicon carbide and gallium nitride technology as part of Infineon.”

Dr. Reinhard Ploss, CEO of Infineon Technologies AG, said, “Wolfspeed’s and Infineon’s businesses and expertise are highly complementary, bringing together industry leading experts for compound semiconductors. This will enable us to create additional value for our customers with the broadest and deepest portfolio of innovative technologies and products in compound semiconductors available in the market.”

Ploss added, “With Wolfspeed we will become number one in SiC-based power semiconductors. We also want to become number one in RF power. This will accelerate the market introduction of these innovative technologies, addressing the needs of modern society – such as energy efficiency, connectivity, and mobility.”

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