Trump Blocks China-Backed Fund from Buying US Chip Maker Lattice


President Trump has stopped the takeover of an American chip maker by a private equity firm with ties to China. In the case of Portland, Oregon-based Lattice, the buyer would have been Canyon Bridge Capital Partners, which is backed by China Venture Capital Fund Corporation Limited, which the White House said is "owned by Chinese state-owned entities".

"Today, consistent with the administration's commitment to take all actions necessary to ensure the protection of US national security, the president issued an order prohibiting the acquisition", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement Wednesday.

The White House said on Wednesday that it prevented the acquisition of Lattice Semiconductor, in part because the United States government relies on the company's products.

Trump has the authority to block foreign investments he deems national security threats through the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States, an interagency committee.

Despite the committee's opposition to the merger, Lattice said earlier this month it was hopeful it could get the deal done, telling the SEC that "Lattice remains of the view that the proposed transaction does not raise any national security concerns that cannot be addressed by the comprehensive mitigation measures that Lattice and Canyon Bridge have proposed to implement".

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Lattice, based in Portland, Ore., had said Canyon Bridge now employs 300 people in the state with an additional 350 more to be employed after the acquisition, according to CNN Money.

Both Lattice and Canyon Bridge had said the acquisition could have boosted American jobs, a core issue for the Trump administration.

Reps for Lattice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Canyon Bridge offered $8.30 a share for Lattice last November when it was trading at $6.37 last November. CFIUS includes representatives from 16 USA departments and agencies, including the Defense, State and Commerce departments, as well as (most recently) the Department of Homeland Security.