Atmel to sell manufacturing facility in UK

US-based Atmel Corporation has entered into separate agreements with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Highbridge Business Park for the sale of its eight-inch wafer fabrication equipment and related property located in North Tyneside, UK.

Atmel had previously announced its intention to sell this facility as part of its strategic restructuring initiatives to reduce costs, accelerate growth and enhance profitability.

Under the terms of the agreements, TSMC will purchase Atmel's eight-inch wafer fabrication equipment, and Highbridge Business Park will buy the North Tyneside land and buildings for a combined total of US$124m (€87.7m) in cash.

Atmel will continue to manufacture products at the North Tyneside facility into the first quarter of 2008, during which time production will be redeployed to the company's manufacturing operations in Colorado Springs, US, and Rousset, France, as well as to external foundries.

"The sale of our North Tyneside facility is a major step forward in transitioning Atmel to a fab-lite manufacturing model, which will improve our cost structure," said Steven Laub, Atmel's president and ceo. "We are making measurable progress in enhancing Atmel's competitive position as we implement our strategic restructuring initiatives and optimise our manufacturing capacity to improve Atmel's financial strength."

This sale follows the previously announced sale of Atmel's wafer fabrication facility in Irving, Texas, for approximately $38m (€26.9m) in cash.

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