South Korean analog chipmaker RFsemi has been sold to Chinese electronics maker Jinping Electronics.
RFsemi said on Monday that its largest shareholder will be changed from ex-CEO Lee Jin-hyo to Jinping Electronics.
The Chinese company will acquire 20 billion won worth of new shares to be issued on May 30, and also secure managerial rights.
RFsemi said the aim was to secure funding for its new business ventures.
The South Korean company was founded in 1999 and manufactures chips and LED lights such as microphones and transient voltage suppressors.
The company has until recently expanded into manufacturing silicon carbide and gallium nitride chips.
However, it has recorded four straight years of losses during this period; in 2019 it lost 800 million; in 2020 2.1 billion won; in 2021 1.1 billion won and last year 10.5 billion won. Its debt ratio increased from 105% to 152% during this time period.
Lee’s stock in the company has also been dropping; in 2021 he held early-20% but this dropped to mid-10% last year. As of November last year it dropped to 8.25%.
Shares held by his family members in the company also dropped during the same time period.
Jinping Electronics was formed in 2018 and based in South Korea, but its largest shareholder is Hong Kong-based Jinping Technology Limited.
Not much is known about Jinping but it may have ties to RFsemi CEO Koo Bon-jin, the current CEO of Black Pearl Holdings. Koo also worked in South Korea’s finance ministry in the past as well as holding CEO jobs at Stonebridge Asset Management and True Investment.
When Koo was named RFsemi CEO, the company issued 40 billion won worth of convertible bonds to Black Pearl Holdings.
Black Pearl Holdings also has Tianjn-based Jinpyeng Electronics listed as its partner.