FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Wacher Chemie (WCHG.DE) is in early talks with Chinese suitors interested in taking a stake in the German chemical group’s silicon wafers unit Siltronic (WAFGn.DE), three people familiar with the matter said.
Shanghai-based National Silicon Industry Group (NSIG), which was founded last year to invest in semiconductor materials and equipment, is among those interested, the people said, adding there was no guarantee that a deal would materialize.
Wacker Chemie, which listed Siltronic last year and still holds a 57.8 percent stake in the unit, declined to comment. It confirmed earlier remarks that it wants to reduce its stake in Siltronic to a minority over the medium term.
NSIG was not immediately available for comment
Bloomberg had earlier reported on the talks, saying the deal faced several hurdles, including NSIG’s unwillingness to pay a premium to the current market value and growing resistance among German and U.S. officials to allow Chinese takeovers.
German chip equipment maker Aixtron (AIXGn.DE) last month said that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) would recommend that its takeover by China’s Fujian Grand Chip Investment Fund (FGC) be blocked.
Shares in Wacker Chemie traded 1.2 percent lower, while Siltronic shares were down 2.9 percent.
Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Christoph Steitz; Editing by Maria Sheahan