Leader of the Pack: Durham Semiconductor Maker Wolfspeed Begins a New Era on the NYSE
Smith Anderson client Wolfspeed, Inc. (NYSE: WOLF), a Durham-headquartered leader in silicon carbide technology and production, has begun trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
“We are pleased to join the NYSE, one of the world’s most prestigious trading platforms, as this transfer marks an important milestone for the company as a pure play global semiconductor powerhouse, leading the industry transition from silicon to silicon carbide,” said Gregg Lowe, president and CEO of Wolfspeed, in a press release.
Surrounded by members of the Wolfspeed team, Lowe rang the opening bell at the stock exchange on October 4th. Previously trading on Nasdaq under its former company name, Cree, Inc. (CREE), Wolfspeed stock is now traded along with more than 2,400 of the world’s leading companies on the NYSE.
Wolfspeed served as the brand for Cree’s silicon carbide semiconductor devices business unit for six years. During the past four years, Cree has pivoted from its historical concentration on LEDs and LED lighting to its Wolfspeed business, with the intent to become solely a semiconductor company, culminating with the name change. Wolfspeed produces wide bandgap semiconductors, focusing on silicon carbide and gallium nitride-on silicon carbide materials and devices for power and radio frequency applications such as electric vehicles, fast charging, 5G, renewable energy and storage, and aerospace and defense.
“Our company name change to Wolfspeed capitalizes on our 30-year heritage of working with silicon carbide and underscores our ambitious plans to compete and win in the rapidly expanding marketplace, which we believe will continue to provide long-term value for our customers and shareholders,” Lowe said.
Wolfspeed was the first North Carolina company to take advantage of amendments to the North Carolina Business Corporation Act removing the need for shareholder approval for a corporate name change approved by the board of directors. The company’s new name and transition to the NYSE coincides with a deal that Wolfspeed signed with General Motors to provide silicon carbide products for the auto maker’s electric vehicles.
To read the full press release, please click here.
Smith Anderson has regularly represented Wolfspeed for over 20 years in a wide range of transactions, including multiple acquisitions. Of recent note, in 2020, Smith Anderson advised Wolfspeed in the sale of its LED products business unit to SMART Global Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: SGH) for up to $300 million, and in 2019, advised on the divestiture of its lighting products business unit to IDEAL Industries, Inc. for an initial cash payment of $225 million plus the potential to receive an earn-out payment. Additionally, in 2018 Smith Anderson advised Wolfspeed in a definitive agreement to purchase the assets of the RF power business of Infineon Technologies AG, a world leader in semiconductor solutions, for €345 million in cash.
Wolfspeed leads the market in the worldwide adoption of silicon carbide and GaN technologies. It provides industry-leading solutions for efficient energy consumption and a sustainable future. Wolfspeed’s product families include silicon carbide materials, power-switching devices and RF devices targeted for various applications such as electric vehicles, fast charging, 5G, renewable energy and storage and aerospace and defense. The company unleashes the power of possibilities through hard work, collaboration and a passion for innovation. Learn more at www.wolfspeed.com.