The option to buy the remaining 45 percent depends on undisclosed conditions but the total price would be $137.5 million, which ST would fund with available cash.
ST has high hopes for its business in SiC power devices for automotive and industrial applications. It is planning to be market leader in SiC power chip production and retain at least 30 percent market share. The acquisition extends ST's control of the silicon carbide ecosystem and ensures access to wafers at a time of constrained global capacity.
"ST is the only semiconductor company with automotive-grade silicon carbide in mass production today. We want to build on our strong momentum in SiC, both in volume and breadth of applications for industrial and automotive, targeting continued leadership in a market estimated at more than $3 billion in 2025," said Jean-Marc Chery, CEO of STMicroelectronics, in a statement.
ST did not give an indication of when the deal to acquire the 55 percent stake would close or any time considerations for the option to buy the whole company.
Norstel was founded in 2005 as a spinoff of Linköping University. It develops and manufactures advanced 150mm-diameter silicon carbide bare and epitaxial wafers.
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