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Apollo, KKR and Stonepeak may fund Intel's Ireland facility, Bloomberg reports

FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows Intel logo

(Reuters) -Apollo Global Management, KKR & Co and Stonepeak may invest billions of dollars in a joint venture to help fund Intel's semiconductor fabrication facility in Ireland, Bloomberg News reported on Friday.

Intel has been grappling with weak demand for its chips used in the traditional data center and PC industry while it lags behind in the AI semiconductor market with its lost technological edge.

Intel and KKR declined to comment on the report, when contacted by Reuters. Apollo and Stonepeak did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Terms of the potential JV including its size and structure have not been finalized and could still change, the report added, citing people familiar with the matter. The JV could raise several billions, including debt.

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Media reports from February stated that Intel, which is working with advisors, had begun soliciting interest from potential investors.

Intel on Thursday forecast second-quarter revenue and profit below market estimates.

The company has been making heavy investments to recoup its long lost lead in the chip manufacturing business. Its Ireland facility is a key part of this plan, being the first of its fabs to attempt high-volume manufacturing using extreme ultraviolet (EUV) technology.

In September last year, Intel began high-volume production using EUV lithography machines at its $18.5 billion plant in Ireland.

The EUV machines, made by Dutch manufacturer ASML, are some of the most expensive tools in the world.

Earlier in April, Intel said it had become the first company to assemble one of ASML's new "High NA EUV" lithography tools, which cost around 350 million euros ($374.4 million).

Intel shares closed down 9% on Friday.

($1 = 0.9348 euros)

(Reporting by Arsheeya Bajwa in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)