Chip testing firm urges blocking rival Xcerra’s sale to China fund: Wall Street Journal

U.S. semiconductor testing company Cohu Inc (COHU.O) is trying to block the sale of rival Xcerra Corp (XCRA.O) to a Chinese government-controlled fund citing national security concerns, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

Cohu sent its analysis of the risks related to the proposed sale to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), according to documents and correspondence reviewed by the Journal.

The CFIUS, headed by the U.S. Secretary of Treasury is a government panel that reviews acquisitions by foreign entities for potential national security risks, has cracked down on technology deals related to the semiconductor industry.

“Treasury does not comment on whether any particular transaction is pending before CFIUS”, a Treasury spokesman told Reuters in an e-mailed statement.

“The allegations Cohu make are false, as Xcerra does not possess critical IP from any customer. Semiconductor companies do not share their critical information with automatic test or handler vendors,” Xcerra said in an e-mail to Reuters.

A unit of a large semiconductor investment fund linked to the Chinese state in April agreed to buy Xcerra for $580 million in cash.

Chinese suitors have faced intense scrutiny from regulators in their pursuit of U.S. chipmakers, resulting in some failed deals in recent years.

Reuters could not immediately reach Cohu and the Chinese fund for comment.