Intel to Sell Minority Stake in Austrian Chip Firm

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(Image credit: Intel)

Intel today announced it has agreed to sell an approximately 20% stake in IMS Nanofabrication to Bain Capital, a private equity firm, valuing IMS at approximately $4.3 billion. 

Intel first invested in IMS in 2019 and acquired the Vienna, Austria-based business in 2015. IMS makes important chip-making tools, and works specifically on multi-beam mask writing, which has been helpful for leading-edge semiconductor nodes using extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV). 

IMS will continue to be led by chief executive officer Dr. Elmar Platzgummer and will operate as a standalone subsidiary.

"The advancement of lithography is critical to driving continued progress in the semiconductor industry, and mask writing plays a central role in the industry’s transition to new patterning technologies, such as high-NA EUV," said Matt Poirier, senior vice president of corporate development at Intel in a press release. "Bain Capital’s investment and partnership will provide IMS with increased independence and bring strategic perspective to help accelerate the next phase of lithography technology innovation, ultimately benefitting the ecosystem as a whole."

Intel suggests that the "increased independence" will help fast-track more innovation in lithography and that it will ultimately help the "ecosystem as a whole" by fostering collaboration across the industry.

Intel's sale of the minority stake is expected to close in the third quarter of 2023. This year, IMS is expected to launch MBMW-301, a fourth-generation multi-beam mask writer.

Later today, Intel is expected to provide updates on its internal foundry plans. It's unclear if this announcement was dropped because it will have an effect on this news. Intel's stock was down slightly in morning trading.

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Threads @FreedmanAE and Mastodon

  • bit_user
    My take is that Intel just needs the cash, right now. That's all there really is to it.
  • dalek1234
    bit_user said:
    My take is that Intel just needs the cash, right now. That's all there really is to it.
    THIS ^^^