US: Trump blocks Lattice Semiconductor’s $1.3 billion sale to China

President Donald Trump has blocked the US$1.3 billion sale of Lattice Semiconductor to Chinese investors over national security concerns, a largely expected decision that would seem to rule out most of its previous suitors from making another run at the Oregon company.

Lattice, Portland’s largest tech company, has been trying since November to sell itself to Canyon Bridge Capital Partners, a Chinese-backed investment fund. But investors had always considered the deal a long-shot, especially after nearly two dozen members of Congress condemned it late last year on the grounds that China’s growing, state-sponsored semiconductor industry posed a threat to national security.

The administration ultimately agreed, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin citing the “potential transfer of intellectual property to the foreign acquirer” for the decision. He also noted the “importance of semiconductor supply chain integrity to the US government, and the use of Lattice products by the US government,” according to a statement released Wednesday.

Though Trump’s decision isn’t a surprise, it does create lots of uncertainty for Lattice. Its stock never approached the US$8.30 a share that Canyon Bridge offered, and it is now trading well below where it was before the companies announced the deal in November.

Full Content: Wall Street Journal

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