Four hundred manufacturing jobs will remain in Minnesota following SkyWater Technology Foundry’s purchase of a facility in Bloomington. The company announced Monday that it paid $30 million to acquire the facility, known as Cypress Minnesota Inc., which is technically a subsidiary owned by San Jose, California-based Cypress Semiconductor Corp.
 
Workers in at the Bloomington site annually produce millions of 200-millimeter semiconductors, a component that is critical to the manufacture of devices in the medical, Internet of Things and photonics fields.
 
“With annual demand expected to exceed 5.4 million [semiconductor] wafers by 2019, companies are scrambling to build or add 200-millimeter capacity to capitalize on demand generated by mobile and IoT technology,” said Dr. Scott Nelson, chief technology officer and executive vice president at SkyWater. “With this acquisition, our employees have the opportunity to help this new technology foundry thrive and continue the tradition of quality U.S.-based manufacturing.”
 
One of the conditions of the purchase involves a multi-year agreement for SkyWater to continue manufacturing semiconductor wafers for Cypress, as well as provide engineering and manufacturing services for its customers, which include the U.S. government.
 
Cypress was shopping the facility as a means to slim its operating expenses and improve profitability amid economic challenges within its industry.
 
“This transaction demonstrates our commitment to reshape Cypress and improve gross margin,” Hassane El-Khoury, CEO of Cypress, said in a statement. “The sale of [our fabrication plant] in Minnesota allows us to reduce our manufacturing costs as we exit the fab while using the proceeds to pay down debt.”
 
SkyWater’s purchase of the facility is being backed by Oxbow Industries, a private equity firm headquartered in St. Louis Park.
 
With the addition of the manufacturing plant, SkyWater’s headcount will have grown to 421 employees. The added capacity of the facility, SkyWater said, should also allow it hire an additional 20 employees in the future, which will be in its engineering and SG&A divisions.

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