Govt-Backed JIC Mulls ¥1 Trillion Buyout of JSR

Reuters file photo
Semiconductor chips are seen on a circuit board of a computer in this illustration picture taken February 25, 2022.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Government-backed investment fund Japan Investment Corp. is considering acquiring Japanese semiconductor material maker JSR Corp. for around ¥1 trillion, it was learned Saturday.

The government is bolstering efforts to strengthen semiconductor supply chains, crucial for economic security. It expects that the acquisition will help boost the country’s competitiveness in the field of semiconductor materials further, sources said.

Listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s top-tier Prime section, JSR boasts one of the largest global market shares for photoresists used in semiconductor circuit formation.

Following screenings by Japanese and foreign competition regulators, JIC plans to launch a tender offer for JSR as early as within this year. If the acquisition goes smoothly, JSR will be delisted.

JSR was established in 1957 as Japan Synthetic Rubber Co. as part of government-led efforts to realize domestic production of synthetic rubber.

After being completely privatized in 1969, the company expanded into the field of electronics materials, including those related to semiconductors and displays, and the medical sector.

Meanwhile, the company sold its synthetic rubber business to oil refining company Eneos Corp. in 2022.

After the buyout, JIC aims to have JSR concentrate investments in the semiconductor materials business and implement a business shakeup.

The industry ministry aims to increase total sales at semiconductor-related companies in Japan to over ¥15 trillion in 2030, triple the level of 2020.

So far, the ministry has budgeted ¥2 trillion to aid related efforts, including helping Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. build a new plant in the southwestern prefecture of Kumamoto and Tokyo-based chipmaker Rapidus Corp. produce next-generation semiconductors in Japan.