Wednesday, January 7, 2009

AMD deal gets federal approval

The federal government has ruled there are no national security concerns with a $7 billion investment deal between Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The clearance, received by letter by AMD on Tuesday, helps to pave the way for a $4.6 billion computer chip factory planned for Luther Forest Technology Campus in Malta.

AMD, which first unveiled plans for the factory more than two years ago, is spinning off its manufacturing operations to a joint venture, The Foundry Co., that also will be owned by Abu Dhabi.

The Persian Gulf city-state, a part of the United Arab Emirates, also will increase its stake in AMD, which will continue to design chips.

Both transactions received clearance from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, an arcane board chaired by the secretary of the treasury. The committee, commonly called CFIUS, can refer problematic transactions to the president for veto. That did not happen in this case.

Under federal law, CFIUS has 30 days to conduct an initial review.

Company spokesman Travis Bullard said he did not know how long it took CFIUS to conduct its official review. CFIUS keeps the process secret.

AMD also needs the European Union to reconfirm previously approved government incentives for upgrades at its fabs in Dresden, Germany, that will be owned by Foundry Co. And AMD must get shareholder approval for the deal with Abu Dhabi. No date has been set yet for that vote.

Completion of the deal is planned by March, when tree clearing at Luther Forest may begin.

Source :