The Trump administration, citing national security concerns, has blocked Portland-based Lattice Semiconductor Corp.’s acquisition.
Lattice had procured a $1.3 billion deal in November with the private equity firm Canyon Bridge Capital Partners. The strategy seemingly promised to bring new jobs to the company as well as the financial footing to re-invest.
However, Canyon Bridge is backed by China Venture Capital Fund Corp. Limited, whose investors are state-owned enterprises.
The Chinese connection has held the deal up in the federal Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. The committee evaluated the deal three times before concluding that it should be blocked.
The final decision went to the president.
“The national-security risk posed by the transaction relates to, among other things, the potential transfer of intellectual property to the foreign acquirer, the Chinese government’s role in supporting this transaction, the importance of semiconductor supply chain integrity to the United States Government, and the use of Lattice products by the United States Government,” according to a statement from the White House.
The company did not have a comment on the decision at press time.
Lattice makes technology called field programmable gate arrays, a type of chip that can be programmed after it’s manufactured. Soon after the deal was announced, several lawmakers argued the deal should be killed because the chips are key to certain U.S. military applications.
Lattice executives have maintained that the company does not currently supply the military.
The Portland Business Journal is a KGW News partner.
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