January 27, 2006 – In an move to return to profitability for all of its frontend segments, ASM International NV, Bilthoven, The Netherlands, said that it will scale back its NuTool operation to license the technology, and consolidate its wafer-handling platforms.
The NuTool copper plating, planarization, and electrochemical mechanical deposition processes operation will be reduced to “a small operation” to focus on process and IP licensing. ASMI will record charges for goodwill, asset writeoffs, contractual obligations, and settlement charges with former shareholders of approximately 42 million euros, almost all of which will be noncash, and be recorded in 4Q05. The company acquired the remaining 85% it did not own in the Milpitas, CA-based business in March 2004, in a stock swap deal worth approximately 38-57 million euros.
ASMI also said it will consolidate wafer-handling platforms used in its transistor capacitor product group, including atomic layer deposition (ALD) and plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition (PEALD) processes acquired in April 2004 from South Korea’s Genitech Inc. Costs associated with the consolidation will be approximately 7 million euros in asset writeoffs and outstanding purchase commitments, also mostly recorded as noncash charges.
ASMI said sales of frontend equipment in 4Q05 “increased significantly” from 3Q05, and for the year were approximately flat with 2004. Further details of the restructuring of NuTool and other areas will be discussed in the company’s 2005 financial results on Feb. 21.