Tata Group close to taking over Westron's iPhone plant in India: reports
11 January 2023
Tata Group is reported to be close to taking over control of Wistron’s iPhone manufacturing plant near Bengaluru, in a deal that would place the Tata Group as another iPhone maker on a par with Foxconn, the other Taiwanese manufacturer of Apple phones
Under the deal, Tata is expected to take a majority stake in ae joint venture with Wistron, according to a Bloomberg report. Tata will oversee the main manufacturing operation, with support from Wistron, reports citing unidentified sources said.
The deal, which comes after long-drawn discussions between Tata Group and Taiwan’s Wistron Corp, is expected to come into force by the end of March, according to sources familiar with the development.
The two firms discussed various potential tie-ups but talks have now centered on Tata taking a majority of a joint venture, the reports said.
Tata’s deal would help India effectively challenge China’s dominance in electronics industry, especially in the mobile phones segment.
Tata aims to complete a due diligence process by 31 March before formally taking over the plant through its own electronics arm. Takeover of the Westron facility would also make Tata Electronics eligible for government incentives for local production of smartphones. The government is expected to announce the next tranche of incentives in April.
Wistron’s 205,000 sq m iPhone manufacturing facility is located around 50km east of Bangalore. Under the deal, Tata will take over all its eight iPhone lines, as well as the plant’s 10,000 workers, including thousands of engineers. Wistron would continue as a technology provider for iPhones in India.
Wistron is one of three Taiwanese iPhone manufacturers in India, along with Foxconn and Pegatron. It has agreed to sell its iPhone production business in China to a competitor in 2020 and sought to diversify its business into areas such as servers.
While Wistron is looking to exit iPhone-making in India, its Taiwanese peers are expanding their iPhone production lines in India.