Freescale to Close Plants in Japan, France

Company will stop manufacturing 150mm wafers

U.S. semiconductor manufacturer Freescale announced on April 22 that it was closing plants in France and Japan. Freescale designs and makes semiconductors for the automotive, consumer and wireless industries.

The Austin, Texas-based Freescale said that "in order to remain competitive and maintain an efficient manufacturing footprint" it was closing facilities in Toulouse, France, and another in Sendai, Japan, by the end of 2011.

The privately held company said that the moves resulted from its decision to stop manufacturing 150mm chips.

Freescale, which also recently announced plans to abandon the cellular handset business, said the closures should result in severance costs of $200 million and eventual annual cost savings of $100 million.

Freescale reported net earnings of $1.76 billion in the first quarter of the year, accomplished mainly through the one-time elimination of long-term debt.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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