Chinese printing technology firm Apexmic bags $488m strategic investment led by ICF

Apex Microelectronics Co., Ltd (Apexmic), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shenzhen-listed Ninestar Corporation that offers printing and imaging services, has received a 3.2 billion yuan ($488 million) strategic investment led by state-owned China Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund (ICF) II, according to a company filing with The Stock Exchange of Shenzhen on December 8.

Besides ICF II, Apexmic has roped in 12 investors for the deal including Gree Electric Appliance’s investment arm Zhuhai Gree Financial Investment Management, Goldstone Investment, Hengqin Financial Investment, and others.

ICF II has agreed to invest 1.5 billion yuan ($229 million) for around 7.9 per cent stake, while Gree Financial Investment has pumped 350 million yuan ($53 million) for a roughly 1.8 per cent equity interest. 

Upon completion of the transaction, Ninestar will remain the controlling shareholder in Apexmic with around 83.2 per cent stake. The deal is subject to approval from Apexmic’s shareholders. 

Set up in 2004 and located in Southeast China’s Zhuhai city, Apexmic is a provider of integrated circuit chips based on novel technologies such as CPU design and multi-core SoC chip design. Its pipeline products — cartridge chips, unismart printer chips — are widely used in defence, aerospace, healthcare, semiconductor, IoT, and internet security, among other sectors.

Per its press release on December 7, Apexmic has delivered an innovative chip product that can be used in Japan-based Epson’s newly-launched inkjet multifunction device EW-M530F.

“The deal can help Apexmic shore up business for industrial-accessed microcontroller unit (MCU) chips and IoT security-focused SoC chips,” said the company in the filing.

In addition, it will also advance Zhuhai city’s developments in integrated circuits and high-end printing equipment, it claims.

In September this year, Zhuhai municipal government released a policy to ramp up efforts to nurture its IC industry and targets a market size of 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) by 2025, according to Zhuhai government’s official website. 

ICF is a 138.7 billion yuan ($21 billion) semiconductor fund co-launched by China Development Bank Capital, China Tobacco, China Mobile, and others in 2014. In October last year, ICF II was set up with a registered capital of 204.2 billion yuan ($31 billion) by 27 marquee investors such as Ministry of Finance, China Development Bank Capital, and Beijing E-Town.

Some of its portfolio companies include Unisoc, SmartSens, and SMIC. 

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.