The End of the Acquisition Era for Semiconductor Industry

As the semiconductor industry matured and industry growth rates declined to low single digits, companies increasingly turned to acquisitions to boost revenue. This activity peaked in 2015 and 2016 with many large deals announced. Although the appetite for acquisitions is unchanged, the situation has changed dramatically. The memory driven boom has affected most semiconductor stocks making deals more expensive but the most dramatic change is in the regulatory environment. The political world has taken a turn towards anti-globalisation with nationalist parties gaining more influence. This has impacted the regulatory environment that has moved from merger-friendly to merger-hostile.

Although deals are still being digested as can be seen from the investment cash flow of the industry it is also obvious that the semiconductor companies have turned their attention away from acquisitions and back to capital investments backing organic growth.

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