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Plan to re-open Rousset fab requires investors

April 01, 2014 | Peter Clarke | 222906262
Plan to re-open Rousset fab requires investors The re-opening of a foundry wafer fab at Rousset, France, that could eventually save the 600 jobs recently lost there, requires an initial investment of about €11 million (about $15 million) according to a recovery plan that is in preparation.
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Financial counsel working for a class action group that is suing Atmel Corp. (San Jose, Calif.) and LFoundry GmbH (Landshut, Germany) is developing the plan, according to Philippe Pradal of Pradal & Associates PLLC, who represents the plaintiffs in the suit (see Conspiracy alleged over Rousset fab closure). The group developing the plan is looking for financial investors that would be interested in investing in the Rousset site to relaunch activity there, Pradal said.

The recovery plan hinges on the involvement of General Vision Inc. (Petaluma, Calif.), a company led by French expatriate cognitive imaging and computing experts Guy Paillet and Anne Menendez, and which recently recruited Philippe Lambinet, formerly a corporate strategy officer at STMicroelectronics NV and general manager of ST's digital sector. 

Other companies referenced as "probable" users of a resurrected Rousset foundry in a document sent to EE Times Europe include Inside Secure SA and Adesto Technologies Inc.

General Vision, a developer of neuromorphic technology for such applications as image processing and search engines, was previously reported as being interested in the Rousset fab site at the time LFoundry Rousset SAS was declared bankrupt by the Commercial Court of Paris. That declaration caused an immediate stop to activities on the site from Dec. 26, 2013 and the loss of 613 jobs (see LFoundry Rousset fab closes with loss of 600 jobs).

The law suit, filed subsequently in federal court in New York in March 2014, alleges that Atmel conspired with LFoundry GmbH to sell its wafer fab in Rousset, fraudulently to LFoundry GmbH (Landshut, Germany) so that the plant could be closed and Atmel could avoid the cost of closing the fab, including making redundancy payments to workers. The suit now has a date for an initial pre-trial hearing on June 6, 2014.

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