Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Filtronic seeks pounds 20m aid

FILTRONIC, THE mobile phone components maker, is pushing the Government for aid to buy a dormant microchip plant in the Sedgefield constituency of Tony Blair, the Prime Minister.

The plant's current owner, the Japanese electronics group Fujitsu, posted a pounds 300m loss after closing it in March. However, Filtronic is expecting the purchase price and associated investment to be only pounds 35m.

Filtronic and Fujitsu have entered a preliminary agreement over the sale of the plant, in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. Fujitsu is understood to want to recoup as much of its loss as possible. The consideration is thought to be pounds 20m.

Filtronic wants the Government to provide funds to convert the plant to make it compatible with its own technology. It expects to create 500 jobs and have the plant in operation by May. The plant can make 350 million microchips -annually, selling at pounds 4 a piece.

Investment, page 15