Federal panel opposes tech company sale to Chinese investors

PORTLAND, Ore. — A federal panel is recommending that President Donald Trump reject or suspend the pending $1.3 billion sale of Portland, Oregon's largest tech company to a Chinese-backed investment firm.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States ruled against the deal Friday, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported (http://bit.ly/2evDArA). The deal has been under scrutiny since it became clear that the newly-formed private equity firm, Canyon Bridge Capital Partners, that Lattice Semiconductor announced it would sell to in November is funded by the Chinese government. The transaction could threaten national security, lawmakers have said.

Lattice manufactures a relatively low-tech class of programmable computer chips that can be adapted for a variety of uses. It had 1,000 employees worldwide at the end of the last year, but that number dwindled after Lattice sold a division in India and a round of layoffs.

Lattice Semiconductors hopes the federal panel will change its recommendation or the president will take a different course.

"Lattice and Canyon Bridge plan to continue to engage in further discussions with CFIUS and the President to explore measures that may resolve any outstanding national security concerns and that could allow the parties to proceed with the transaction," Lattice wrote in a securities filing Friday.

Former presidents have followed four similar recommendations the federal panel has made since 1990. Trump has 15 days from the panel's ruling to decide whether he will follow the recommendation.

"We believe President Trump will recognize the benefits this investment will provide — to keep and grow jobs in the U.S., as well as expand Lattice's product portfolio," Canyon Bridge wrote in a separate statement.

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Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com

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