US President Barack Obama set to block Aixtron sale to Chinese fund

The headquarters of German chip equipment maker Aixtron SE is pictured in Herzogenrath near the western German city of Aachen on Oct 25, 2016.
The headquarters of German chip equipment maker Aixtron SE is pictured in Herzogenrath near the western German city of Aachen on Oct 25, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US President Barack Obama is poised to block the sale of German chip equipment maker Aixtron to China's Fujian Grand Chip Investment Fund (FGC), Bloomberg reported on Friday (Dec 2), citing sources.

Obama is expected on Friday to uphold the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States' (CFIUS) recommendation that Aixtron's sale to the Chinese investment fund be stopped, Bloomberg said, citing sources.

Obama's office could not be reached for comment immediately by Reuters outside regular business hours.

In November, Aixtron said that the CFIUS told the company it would recommend that its pending takeover by Fujian be blocked.

The German firm said CFIUS, which reviews deals that may be national security risks, had told the chip equipment maker that it plans to recommend to the US president that the deal be blocked due to security concerns, and that it had advised the companies to drop the deal.

The last time a president blocked a deal on national security grounds was in 2012, when Obama stopped a privately owned Chinese company from building wind turbines close to a Navy military site in Oregon, due to national security concerns.

The German government, in October, withdrew its approval for the deal.

The deal, announced in May, valued Aixtron at 670 million euros (S$950 million).

Aixtron and Fujian Grand Chip Investment Fund could not be immediately reached by Reuters for comment.