Semiconductor veteran Ron Black, the former CEO of the U.K.’s Imagination Technologies which used to design chips for Apple, is among a consortium that is interested in buying the country’s largest chip plant back off Chinese-owned Nexperia.
Nexperia, owned by Shanghai-based Wingtech Technologies, announced it was acquiring the Wales-based Newport Wafer Fab at the start of July for £63 million ($87 million).
He said the consortium includes three semiconductor businesses and three financial sponsors, but he declined to specify who they are.
“We’re not making a competing bid,” Black said. “The deal has already been closed. Whether it remains closed, that’s the question that everybody wonders.”
“There’s no need to make any offer today until we know what’s going on,” Black explained, adding that the group wants to be seen as a “white knight” as opposed to an antagonist.
“I will not be part of a company that is effectively controlled by the Chinese government,” Black said in a resignation letter, according to the BBC.
Black is currently located in Maine but he said he’d be willing to return to the U.K. if his consortium does buy Newport Wafer Fab.
“I don’t know what role I would have,” he said. “I’m not necessarily saying that I’m going to run this.”