Reliance Industries, headed by Mukesh Ambani, is reportedly considering the acquisition of Tower Semiconductor based in Israel, as per insiders cited by Business Today. However, these plans could face delays due to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. Despite these reports, a company spokesperson denied any involvement in talks to acquire Tower Semiconductor, asserting that the information is untrue.
All About the Reliance Industries and Tower Semiconductor in Israel
The potential acquisition of Tower Semiconductor could enable Reliance to enter the chip industry. In the past year, there were rumors about Reliance Industries’ interest in acquiring a stake in the International Semiconductor Consortium (ISMC), a semiconductor wafer fab applicant, but no progress was made. This development follows Intel’s recent cancellation of its $5.4 billion acquisition of Tower Semiconductor in August 2023, offering Reliance an opportunity to acquire Tower Semiconductor or a stake in the company.
Tower Semiconductor specializes in high-value analog semiconductor solutions, manufacturing analog integrated circuits for various sectors globally, including automotive, medical, industrial, consumer, aerospace, and defense. It was ranked seventh in global foundry revenue, with $356 million in revenue, according to TrendForce Q1-Q3 data, and its annual revenue is expected to exceed $1 billion.
Tower Semiconductor has previously offered to assist India in building its semiconductor ecosystem. In 2013-14, it was part of a consortium, led by the Jaypee Group, where it would have served as a technology partner alongside IBM. The company once again offered to be a technology partner, this time with ISMC, which submitted an application under India’s ₹76,000 crores semiconductor incentive scheme in February 2022 for a 65nm technology node analog fab.
Recently, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State, Ministry of Electronics & IT, held a meeting with Russell C. Ellwanger, CEO of Tower Semiconductors, in India, where they discussed a potential partnership between India and Tower Semiconductor in the semiconductor industry. Israel’s Ambassador to India, Naor Gilon, also joined this meeting.
Reliance Industries’ reported interest in Tower Semiconductor aligns with the trend of major Indian business houses, including Tata, Vedanta, and the Hiranandani group, actively exploring chip manufacturing ventures. Both Tata and Vedanta have brought in semiconductor experts to lead their new initiatives. This move into chip manufacturing could potentially help Reliance future-proof its telecom and electronics business.