Abu Dhabi's Advanced Technology Investment Company (Atic) plans to increase its stake in the Globalfoundries microchip business to more than 90 per cent by the end of the year, a senior executive said yesterday.
Atic's stake rises as it pours investment into Globalfoundries, in which it invested US$2.1 billion (Dh7.71bn) for a 65.8 per cent stake in March 2009.
"Today, it's an 87 per cent ownership stake in Globalfoundries," said Daniel Durn, an executive director in charge of Atic's investments and strategy.
"By the end of the year, it will be around 90 per cent or just over 90 per cent as we continue to contribute capital to the company. As we contribute more capital to build up that footprint, the ownership will change. We will continue to increase our ownership stake."
Sami Issa, who is also an executive director at Atic, said construction of the Globalfoundries plant in Abu Dhabi would begin next year and was on track to begin operations in 2015.
The total estimated cost of the plant was previously put at $6bn to $7bn. But Mr Issa said the upper estimate had now been revised. "Total investment expected for a factory of that class and that size is expected to be in the range of $6bn to $8bn," he said.
Atic, which is owned by the Abu Dhabi Government, has already selected a site for the factory near Abu Dhabi International Airport. The plant is set to be the first microchip factory in the Middle East outside of Israel.
Mr Durn said Atic was looking to diversify its business. "We are currently looking at opportunities beyond semiconductors," he said. The company said it was evaluating acquisitions in new technologies.
Mr Durn said Globalfoundries would invest $5.5bn this year in expanding its plants in Dresden and Singapore, and building a new plant in New York.
The executives were speaking at an event to mark the coming launch of the Llano, Advanced Micro Device's (AMD) new microprocessor.
Rick Bergman, the senior vice president and general manager of AMD, said the chip would be available globally next month.
Describing it as "disruptive technology", Mr Bergman said the new processor would offer the "world's best graphics".
He said the Llano was aimed at desktop and laptop computers rather than smartphones.