TowerJazz, the global specialty foundry, and Tacoma Technology Ltd and Tacoma (Nanjing) Semiconductor Technology Co., Ltd (collectively known as “Tacoma”) announced today that Tower has received a first payment of $18 million net, rendering phase one of the framework agreement with Tacoma binding. This agreement maps the establishment of a new 8-inch semiconductor fabrication facility in Nanjing, China. According to the terms of the framework agreement, TowerJazz will provide technological expertise together with operational and integration consultation, for which the Company shall receive additional payments based on milestones during the next few years, subject to a definitive agreement specifying all terms and conditions.
In addition, from the start of production at the facility, TowerJazz will be entitled to capacity allocation of up to 50% of the targeted 40,000 wafer per month fab capacity, which it may decide to use at its discretion. This capacity will provide TowerJazz with additional manufacturing capability and flexibility to address its growing global demand.
Tacoma will be responsible to source funds for all activities, milestones and deliverables of the entire project, including the construction, commissioning and ramp of this facility, with the project being fully supported by Nanjing Economic and Technology Development Zone through its Administration Committee, Credito Capital as well as through potential funding from other third party investors and entities.
“This agreement with Tacoma is in line with our business strategy to focus on growing markets such as China. The fabless business in China has grown rapidly in the past years. The new 8-inch fabrication facility in Nanjing will provide us with a strategic footprint in China and the opportunity to extend our offerings in advanced specialty process technologies by enabling customers in China to optimize their product performance and time to market,” said Dr. Itzhak Edrei, TowerJazz President.
Russell Ellwanger, TowerJazz Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are exploring multiple opportunities in China, and determined this agreement with Tacoma to be a good fit for TowerJazz, providing a roadmap for a meaningful long-term strategic partnership. China’s focus to develop its domestic semiconductor industry with full infrastructure presents additional opportunities for TowerJazz, as a global analog leader, to expand our served markets and geographic presence. This partnership will enable us to further fulfill our customers’ needs through additional available capacity as well as to be an active player in the growing Chinese market.”
Joseph Lee, Tacoma Chairman, stated: “Deeply engraved in the corporate culture of both Tacoma and TowerJazz is the core belief in working ‘SMART’ with ‘PASSION.’ Our people are committed to contributing to our business partners, the global semiconductor industry and society with the best endeavor and integrity. Tacoma will fully fund this project together with Credito Capital and other entities. This venture will become a dominant player in Asia and will raise the standard in the semiconductor industry to another level.”
A groundbreaking and signing ceremony took place in Nanjing, China, attended by TowerJazz Chairman Mr. Amir Elstein, President Dr. Itzhak Edrei, Business Development Vice President Mr. Erez Imberman, as well as the then Israeli Ambassador to China the Honorable Mr. Matan Vilnai. Pictured, the signing between Tacoma Chairman, Mr. Joseph Lee and TowerJazz CEO Mr. Russell Ellwanger, with among others the above cited attendees.