After a decade of being a privately-held contract maker of semiconductors, GlobalFoundries has revealed that it's mulling going public in 2022. The move will help GF’s current owners to return some of their investments that, to date, total almost $21 billion. However if GlobalFoundries wants to go public there's a long road ahead of them; for a successful IPO, GlobalFoundries will have to become a consistently sizably profitable company.

Founded in 2009 after AMD spun off its manufacturing division in 2008, GlobalFoundries is now the world’s third largest contract maker of chips behind TSMC and Samsung Foundry. For years, the company tried to compete for customers like AMD by offering leading-edge process technologies, before switching gears in 2018 and giving up on cutting-edge processes like 7nm in order to focus on specialized nodes.

Development of leading-edge manufacturing technologies is extremely expensive and GlobalFoundries has historically been losing money. By switching to specialized technologies, GF essentially stopped competing against TSMC and Samsung Foundry and could concentrate on making money rather than introducing a new leading-edge node every year or so. As part of its reorganization, GlobalFoudries had to sell some of its assets, including two fabs as well as Avera Semiconductor, a contract chip designer.

In a bid to return some of its money back and raise money for further development, Mubadala, the sole owner of GlobalFoundries, plans to sell a minority stake in the company sometimes in 2022, chief executive Tom Caulfield told The Wall Street Journal. The CEO did not announce how much money GlobalFoundries wants to get for a minority stake, but stresses that IPO will be a turning point for the company.

“It is about us coming of age and being a real vibrant business, and the way of proving that is as a publicly traded company,”

IPO plans may indicate that CEO of GlobalFoundries is confident of the company’s current strategy and hopes that the chipmaker will be profitable two years down the road.

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Source: The Wall Street Journal

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  • teldar - Wednesday, October 02, 2019 - link

    Slow me to rush in and throw thousands of dollars at stock for a company that looses money every year... Reply
  • Arsenica - Wednesday, October 02, 2019 - link

    That sounds like NYSE: UBER. Reply
  • ksec - Wednesday, October 02, 2019 - link

    While they are no longer a foundry with leading node, that doesn't mean there is life outside of it. The market is big enough for them to focus on other node made for volume or speciality. Reply
  • Dragonstongue - Thursday, October 03, 2019 - link

    such as producing I/O chiplets among other things.

    GloFo is not out of the world yet, seeing as they still have top of the stack designers/engineers and such that work hand and hand with all/everyone else ..

    this world (high tech) is not exactly like a fastfood chain where u can hire anyone ff the street to push buttons properly and know what they all do ^.^
    Reply
  • SanX - Thursday, October 03, 2019 - link

    Isn't TSMC also losing money making 10billion transistor chips for cellphones and selling them an order of magnitude cheaper for 25 dollars each than Intel sells its own 10 billion transistor and 2 generations older chips? Reply
  • Joe123456789 - Thursday, October 03, 2019 - link

    This is an absolute joke. We are spending almost nothing on R and D after our strategy change a year ago. Nothing but penny pinching to make the bottom line look better than it really is, not to mention selling off assets as the article mentions just to raise operating cash so we don't have to close our doors. The problem with an ipo is the investing public will be looking for growth and we have absolutely none on the horizon for 5+ years. The best part of GF going public?? Us employees can finally short the stock of what we know is a sinking ship. And honestly, most of us bet we get sold before we even get to any kind of IPO, so we'll probably be robbed of that chance too! All our top talent has left already after the strategy change (no one good in the industry wants to work on decade old technologies... Boring!) and even the mediocre talent is walking out the door now... Daily. Just last Friday we lost 6 more engineers in our small group. Even our VPs and directors are quitting left and right (6 in the last 3 mo) There is no one competent left to even sustain manufacturing let alone develop new technologies.... Reply
  • GreenReaper - Thursday, October 03, 2019 - link

    I find it hard to believe that their employees are called "Joe". Reply
  • Adonisds - Monday, October 07, 2019 - link

    Why didn't they IPO when they were a leading fab, to get more money? Reply

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