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Infineon CEO Ploss: The International Rectifier acquisition "will unleash great potential.” (Photo: Infineon)

Infineon has signed an agreement to buy International Rectifier Corp in a bid to further strenghthen its position in the global semiconductor and power management market.

The German chip maker will pay 40 dlrs a share or a total of 3 billion dlrs for the California-based power semiconductor specialist. International Rectifier is a specialist maker of power semiconductors based on gallium nitride on silicon (GaN) and Infineon said the acquisition will help it make further gains in this kind of technology.

"The combination of Infineon’s and International Rectifier’s products, technological and innovative excellence, as well as distributional strength will unleash great potential,” said Infineon CEO Reinhard Ploss.

Infineon expects economies of scale to result from combining various parts of the two companies' operations. It also sees benefits coming from an accelerated ramp-up of its 300-millimeter thin wafer manufacturing capability.

 The combined company will have a broader and stronger regional scope, the chipmaker said. It cited International Rectifier's strong presence in the US and said the US company will also help it improve its position in Asia.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals. Infineon said it expects the acquisition to close by the end of the year or in early 2015.