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Trump bars Chinese firm from buying US chipmaker Lattice

Bloomberg, Reuters | Updated: 2017-09-14 06:02

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday blocked a Chinese-backed investor from buying chipmaker Lattice Semiconductor Corp.

"Consistent with the administration’s commitment to take all actions necessary to ensure the protection of US national security, the president issued an order prohibiting the acquisition," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

Canyon Bridge Capital Partners’ planned $1.3-billion acquisition of Semiconductor Corp was one of the largest attempted by a Chinese-backed firm in the US chip sector and was the first announced deal for the Palo Alto, California-based firm, which launched last year with a focus on technology investments.

Portland, Oregon-based Lattice makes chips known as field-programmable gate arrays, which allow companies to put their own software on silicon chips for different uses. It no longer sells chips to the US military.

It was just the fourth time in a quarter century that a US president has ordered a foreign takeover of an American firm stopped because of national-security risks.

The Trump administration has maintained the US’s tough stance against Chinese takeovers of American businesses even as it seeks China’s help to resolve the DPRK nuclear crisis. Other Chinese deals under review include MoneyGram International Inc.’s proposed sale to Ant Financial, the financial-services company controlled by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma.

The government is also examining an agreement by Chinese conglomerate HNA Group Co. to buy a stake in SkyBridge Capital LLC, the fund-management company founded by Anthony Scaramucci, who was briefly Trump’s White House communications director.

Trump said in an executive order that Lattice and Canyon Bridge “shall take all steps necessary to fully and permanently abandon the proposed transaction,” within 30 days.

Bloomberg, Reuters

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