china wafer level chip scale package (wlcsp) - a chip-maker backed by israel's infinity group and china-singapore suzhou industrial park ventures (csvc) - has raised rmb715 million ($118 million) after listing on the shanghai stock exchange.
it is said to be the first china ipo by a company with foreign co-founders. the offering was priced at rmb19.16 a share and during morning trading on tuesday the stock gained 57%, reaching rmb30.35.
set up in 2005, wlcsp produces image sensor chips, ambient light sensor chips, medical and electronic devices, micro-electromechanical system (mems) and radio frequency identification chips (rfid). the entity was formed after infinity bought semiconductor technology from jerusalem- based shellcase and took it to china.
according to a release, shellcase had been heavily invested and was losing money for its shareholders before infinity, neurone ventures and later suzhou industrial park (now csvc), stepped in to rescue the firm with a $19 million financing round.
manufacturing and marketing were relocated to china and the company, renamed eipat, moved into profit by selling licenses for its technology and through the continuation of its joint r&d programs. in 2006, shellcase's intellectual property was then sold to tessera technologies for $33 million, but the firm maintained a license for the china market.
with this license in hand, wlcsp was established in china with wang wei as company president. in 2007, shares of wlcsp were sold to omnivision as part of a $22 million financing round for the company. the investment - which was the first via a joint vehicle between infinity and csvc - is expected to generate an 8x return.
"the shellcase/ wlcsp case study is a model for financial ‘double gain' for investors," said ami dotan, co-founder and general partner of neurone ventures and civc, in a statement. " the restructuring of the two companies enabled financial benefit from dual exits: initially from the israeli entity, when shellcase sold to tessera, and later from the chinese entity, through the current wlcsp ipo."
amir gal-or, founder of infinity, claims the ipo represents a number of important firsts. in addition to being first company with foreign co-founders to have gone public in china, wlcsp is the ipo to take in the chinese year of the horse and among the first fifty companies to be approved for listing since the chinese ipo market opened up following a year long hiatus.