THURSDAY, MAY 8, 2014
Brazil’s first semiconductor producer, previously called SIX Semicondutores, expects to be operational by mid-2015 and doing almost $1.7 billion in sales in 2016, company officials said Thursday.
The company, which has been renamed Unitec do Brasil, plans to invest around $830 million to finish construction and acquire equipment before it is up and running.
Earlier Thursday, the company’s investors closed a deal with Argentine billionaire Eduardo Eurnekian to acquire a 33% stake in the tech producer.
Based in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, the firm is a partnership with Mr. Eurnekian’s Argentine-based Corporacion America, International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) and Brazil’s government-run National Bank for Economic and Social Development. The company’s name is similar to that of its sister firm in Argentina, Unitec Blue, which also produces semiconductors.
Mr. Eurnekian’s nephew, Matias Gainza Eurnekian, will be the chairman of the board at Unitec do Brasil. He is also the president of Unitec Blue.
Corporacion America has a state-of-the-art semiconductor factory just south of Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, that produces GSM cards for cellphones, smartcards for public transportation and microchips for credit cards. The plant currently turns to France and South Korea to import silicon wafers used to make semiconductors. But it will start sourcing those from its Brazilian sister company, which aims to begin producing the wafers sometime in 2015.
Together, the companies aim to supply the regional demand for semiconductors but also plan to reach beyond the continent.
“When you build a foundry you do it to supply the whole world,” said Horacio Huergo, sales director at Unitec Blue Argentina. “As the only ones in the region, we think our first customers will be from the region but later we’ll take on the global market.”
Unitec Blue Argentina expects annual sales this year to total around $200 million. The company already has contracts with customers in Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Honduras, Panama, Peru and Uruguay, Mr. Huergo said.