Bird & Bird advises Wolfspeed on partnership with automotive supplier and global technology company ZF Friedrichshafen

International law firm Bird & Bird is advising NYSE-listed Wolfspeed, Inc, the global leader in silicon carbide technology, on a semiconductor technology partnership with automotive supplier and global technology company ZF Friedrichshafen.

The goal of the collaboration is to develop breakthrough innovations for silicon carbide systems, products and applications that cover the entire value chain from chips to complete systems. Wolfspeed plans to build a fully automated, state-of-the-art production facility in Saarland (Germany), which ZF plans to support with a financial investment of several hundred million dollars in exchange for Wolfspeed common stock. As part of this investment, ZF will hold a minority stake in the production facility. Wolfspeed will retain all control rights over the operation and management of the new plant.

The strategic partnership also includes a joint research and development centre in Germany that will focus on the development of innovations for silicon carbide systems and devices to meet specific needs in all mobility segments as well as in the industrial and renewable energy markets.

Both the joint innovation lab and the Wolfspeed device fab are planned as part of the Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) for Microelectronics and Communication Technologies framework and are dependent upon state aid approval from the European Commission.

Wolfspeed Inc. is advised by the following Bird & Bird lawyers: partner Dr. Kai Kerger (lead), associates Johanna Schindler and Simon Wolfheimer and counsel Dr. Christina Lorenz (all Corporate/M&A, Frankfurt), partner Dr. Barbara Geck and associate Franziska Fiedler (both Employment, Frankfurt), partner Dr. Stephan Waldheim, associates Tamy Tietze and Maren Steiert (all Antitrust, Düsseldorf), partner Dr. Matthias Lang, associates Stefanie Kremer, Dr. Tobias Büscher and Anja Holtermann (all Regulation & Administrative/State Aid, Düsseldorf), partner Dr. Christopher Maierhöfer and associate Roksana Hosseini (both IP, Munich), partner Rolf Schmich, associate Michael Brüggemann (both Tax, Frankfurt), partner Dr. Hermann Rothfuchs, associates Tatjana Beck, Georg Höxter and Pia Schettki (all Regulation & Administrative/Real Estate, Munich), partner Dr. Michael Jünemann and associate Timo Förster (both Finance & Financial Regulation, Frankfurt).

In the USA, Wolfspeed Inc. is advised by Smith Anderson LLP: Robert Duggins (Corporate/M&A; lead).


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