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October 5, 1998

NATSEMI CUTS JOBS AT SCOTTISH WAFER PLANT

By CBR Staff Writer

National Semiconductor Corp says it will cut 600 jobs at its Greenock, Scotland fab plant and spin out the remainder of the operation as an independent foundry. The move, part of Natsemi’s worldwide drive to cut excess capacity, is an open invitation for a management buy-out that would preserve the jobs of 440 staff. Natsemi, which has been operating in Greenock for the past 25 years, will close its 4 inch wafer fab at the plant and transfer its products and processes to the remaining 6 inch wafer fab and plants in other parts of the world. The spin-out of Greenock as an independent company follows precedents set by Natsemi at its Portland, Maine plant and another facility in Israel. Natsemi claims the spin-out option, which it will support by buying back wafers and providing support services for several years, is tens of millions of dollars per year more costly than a decision simply to close the facility. Natsemi will then be in an ideal position to use its facilities when the market finally recovers and avoid the cost of investing in a new plant. The 600 job cuts, which will start in six months and take a further year to be achieved, are the latest setback for a part of Scotland which has become known as Silicon Glen. Last week St Louis, Missouri-based PCB maker Viasystems Group Inc announced up to 900 job losses through the closure of two plants in the Scottish borders.

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