AUBURN HILLS – The $450 million acquisition of DuPont Electronics & Imaging’s Compound Semiconductor Solutions by SK Siltron, expected to close by end of 2019, will include a significant investment in the business, strengthening R&D capabilities, and expanding production in the United States.

Some 65 employees work in Auburn Hills. A spokesman for SK Siltron said the company’s intention is to grow the business, expertise and employee base. SK Global Chemical also has a SK Saran Americas site in Midland.

“SK Siltron, part of South Korea-based SK Group, is acquiring the business to strengthen its capabilities as a global leader in developing and manufacturing semiconductor wafers,” the spokesman said. “Silicon carbide (SiC) wafers are critical components in semiconductor applications, such as electrical vehicles and telecommunications, because of their robustness and energy efficiency.”

The acquisition expands SK Siltron’s portfolio and global production capabilities in a growing part of the semiconductor industry. It bolsters the SK Group’s capabilities in a major area of focus across its companies — electric vehicles. SK Innovation, another SK Group company, is investing $1.67 billion to build a EV battery plant in Georgia.

DuPont said the transaction is consistent with DuPont’s strategy of active portfolio management and disciplined capital allocation to further align the company’s portfolio with high return opportunities.

“The DuPont CSS business has state-of-the-art technologies for SiC wafer production to serve the power electronics market, but it is not a strategic priority for the E&I business,” said Jon Kemp, President, DuPont Electronics & Imaging. “Given its strategic focus, we believe SK Siltron will be a better owner and that the CSS business will thrive under SK Siltron’s ownership.”