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Taiwan wafer maker bets US buy could bring breakthrough

GlobalWafers headquarters in Hsinchu, Taiwan.

TAIPEI/TOKYO -- Taiwan's GlobalWafers is looking to take on Japanese giants and fend off Chinese up-and-comers by becoming the world's third-largest silicon wafer manufacturer through the acquisition of an American rival.

The sixth-ranked producer of the semiconductor base material will pay $683 million for SunEdison Semiconductor, currently No. 4, under a deal announced Thursday. This will let GlobalWafers close in on such powerful Japanese companies as Shin-Etsu Chemical and Sumco, the market's two top players, CEO Doris Hsu told a news conference in Taipei.

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