Aixtron SE located in Herzogenrath Germany is a producer of MOCVD equipment which is frequently used to produce LEDs. Fujian Grand Chip Investment Fund LP is an indirect shareholder of Grand Chip Investment GmbH, the company officially leading the bid for acquiring the technology company from Germany.
In October 2016, the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy withdrew its Clearance Certificate issued on September 8, 2016, which would have allowed Fujian Grand Chip Investment GmbH to take over Aixtron SE. The German authority also announced a reopening of review proceedings related to Grand Chip Investment’s proposed offer to take over Aixtron SE.
On the US side, President Obama issued in early December a Presidential Order which blocked the acquisition of the US operation of Aixtron. The order clarified that the take-over threatened to impair the national security of the United States.
On national security grounds, an unusual step that could set the stage for greater tensions between his successor, Mr. Donald J. Trump, and the Chinese government determined to bolster its technological capabilities.
The intervention in a Chinese company’s bid to buy a German semiconductor company, Aixtron, emerges after Chinese companies have spent billions to acquire technology in Europe and the United States. American officials have increasingly moved to stop such deals, but Chinese companies have shown growing adeptness in getting around those restrictions to strike up relationships that could someday lead to greater access to technology.