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GlobalFoundries Files for an IPO, Capitalizing on Chip Boom

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(Bloomberg) -- GlobalFoundries Inc. filed for an initial public offering, looking to benefit from investors pouring money into semiconductor makers during a pandemic-induced chip shortage.

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In a filing Monday, the company listed the size of its offering as $1 billion -- a placeholder that will change when terms of the share sale are set. GlobalFoundries, owned by an investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government, also disclosed financial details of its business, including a 2020 net loss of $1.35 billion and revenue of $4.85 billion.

GlobalFoundries was created by purchasing the manufacturing operations of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. in 2009 and later combining it with Singapore’s Chartered Semiconductor. The Abu Dhabi fund, called Mubadala Investment Co., was planning for the business to be valued in a listing at around $30 billion, Bloomberg News reported in July.

GlobalFoundries, based in Santa Clara, California, is appealing to public-market investors as interest in the semiconductor industry hits an all-time high. Shortages caused by a surge in demand for electronics during pandemic lockdowns and insufficient supply have made chip factories more valuable to the economy. The company said revenue rose 13% in the first half.

The Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index is up 14% this year, outpacing gains by the Nasdaq Composite Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average. Amkor Techmology Inc. leads all gainers, with a 63% surge, followed by a 51% increase for Nvidia Corp.

Still, it’s been rough going lately. Including Monday, the index has fallen six out of the last seven trading sessions -- part of a broader pullback afflicting tech stocks.

Contract chipmakers like GlobalFoundries fabricate semiconductors for large technology companies such as Apple Inc., Nvidia and Amazon.com Inc. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Samsung Electronics Co. currently dominate the market, and Intel Corp. Chief Executive Office Pat Gelsinger has stated his ambition to become a bigger force in that area too.

GlobalFoundries previously gave up on the kind of leading-edge production that would match the capabilities of Taiwan Semiconductor or Samsung. Instead, it’s serving the market for less advanced chips, which are increasingly critical to carmakers and other industries.

Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Credit Suisse Group AG are leading the offering. The company plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol GFS.

(Updates with shares in fifth paragraph.)

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