‘Imminent’ IBM group sale to GlobalFoundries falls through, according to rumor mill

The rumored deal between IBM and chip-making rival GlobalFoundries could be off, industry observers say.

Alliance@IBM, the unofficial union for the tech giant, issued an unconfirmed report Tuesday afternoon that a company executive made the announcement to managers at IBM’s East Fishkill, New York, facility.

Lee Conrad said the group received the update by email, and he had no further information. Mike Cadigan, the executive named, and other IBM representatives could not be reached for comment.

International Business Machines Inc. is said to have been in negotiations to sell its computer chip manufacturing division to GlobalFoundries, the world’s second-largest semiconductor manufacturer. The subsidiary of Mubadala Technology, a multi-sector corporate network, is wholly owned by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Neither IBM nor GlobalFoundries has confirmed or denied gossip about the pending deal, but related reports have persisted for weeks in the national financial media.

Suspicion that GlobalFoundries would be more interested in the chip-making division’s intellectual property than its physical manufacturing plants fueled concern in Vermont, where IBM is the state’s largest private employer with more than 4,000 workers.

Scuttlebutt about the deal falling through was accompanied Tuesday by an official announcement by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo regarding a new Electronics Manufacturing Consortium.

The initiative, led by General Electric, will develop the next generation of materials used on semiconductors at the state-owned research and development facility in Albany, according to a news release. It will be managed through newly merged SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and the SUNY Institute of Technology.

More than 100 private companies are involved. The public-private partnership will invest about $500 million, the release said.

IBM and GlobalFoundries are heavily invested in technology development in the Albany area. However, the role of both companies in the consortium — if any — remains unclear.

IBM announced July 10 it would invest $3 billion in its chip technology, but little or none of that windfall is likely to reach the company’s plant in Essex Junction.

Hilary Niles

Comments

  1. jeff Green :

    Anyone here remember a bunch of years ago when our Congressman walked a picket line at IBM Essex to unionize it? Vermont’s LARGEST employer and taxpayer?? How’d that go for you Bernie Sanders? Think that sat well with IBM management? How many jobs did IBM cut in the years after that stunt? 3,000? More? Move them to friendlier New York State? Vermont has pretty much spit on IBM for years. IBM has been very generous keeping the plant open as long as they have……but if the sale falls through….I bet you see another round of large layoffs. Will Bernie be the first there with a placard to protest IBM, with his usual hate big business speech? He has a nasty habit of doing that.

  2. I remember Peter Shumlin calling out “you’re lying…” to an IBM representative on the floor of the in the Statehouse:

    http://www.vpr.net/news_detail/89062/profile-shumlin-updating-his-image/

    In Vermont, we love our natural environment and tend to hate our business environment. Sad… because we have 20-somethings that need jobs.

  3. jeff Green :

    Hey, my two kids graduated college in last couple years…one was UVM.It never crossed their mind to EVER look for work in VT….very little opportunity for starting college grads. One now in Boston, the other in Seattle. Vermont’s biggest single expenditure ( and BIGGEST TAX) is education……Vermont’s biggest export is the same children the parents get so overtaxed on, to educate them, so other states can benefit.

    Nothing wil change. Shumlin knows all this (deep down), but he will never alienate his “base”. Progressives and liberals control Montpoelier (and Shumlin).

    I see that Burton Snow Boards woke up. All Burton’s warehousing and distribution operations were moved to Ohio. All manufacturing of their boards left Vermont and went to Austria. Imagine that…snowboarding saved the USA ski industry…was basically invented in Vermont, and is now a huge olympic sport…and Vermont couldn’t even keep the majority of their operations here.

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