March 23, 2005 – National Semiconductor has sold its Herzliya-based research and development center to Taiwanese competitor Winbond Electronics Corp., ending its 27-year run in Israel, the company said Tuesday. Industry sources said the deal is worth approximately $65 million, according to the Financial Times Information Ltd.
Some 150 employees at the center will become part of Winbond’s first venture here when the deal is completed in the fourth quarter. National said that the move was consistent with its program to maximize resources and support its analog businesses.
Jonathan Levy, general manager of National Semiconductor Israel, said that Winbond had a track record of maintaining and strengthening its acquisitions and foresaw new responsibilities brought to the Herzliya operation. He added that he expected Winbond to continue to invest in the business at the same level of $20 million a year, which National had maintained.
“The deal sends a positive message to the Israeli hi- tech industry,” Levy said. “Not only will we not be leaving, but the sale represents a long term Far East investment here.”
As part of its program to focus more on its analog business core, US- based National has been selling off various units which fall outside this line. The company said last week that it intended to sell its Singapore assembly and test plant, which employs 1000 people.