ESI buys laser scribe firm New Wave Research

July 5, 2007 – Electro Scientific Industries Inc., a supplier of photonics and laser systems, has agreed to acquire New Wave Research Inc., a developer of high-end laser-based systems targeting sapphire wafer scribing and laser micromachining, for $36 million in cash (about 1x the firm’s current annual revenue). The deal is expected to be roughly breakeven in ESI’s fiscal 2008 (ending in April) and accretive in fiscal 2009.

The deal accelerates each firm’s growth plans by leveraging core competencies into adjacent markets, noted Nick Konidaris, president and CEO of ESI, in a statement. Through the acquisition, ESI gains entry into sapphire wafer scribing as well as LCD repair. NWR, meanwhile, gains scientific, engineering, and system design capabilities. The combined company boasts “centers of excellence” in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon and Montana) as well as Silicon Valley, which will help accelerate development of new tools for both companies, he added.

“This alliance will also greatly benefit our customers by giving them access to a larger range of cutting-edge products in addition to an expanded support network,” stated Pei Hsien Fang, CEO and cofounder of NWR, who will join ESI as FP in charge of the New Wave Research Division. In addition to the wafer scribing and LCD repair tools, NWR also has laser ablation and other tools for various applications, and laser micromachining tools for drilling, etching, and scribing a variety of materials.

Earlier this year New Wave obtained a preliminary injunction ruling in Taiwan against Japan’s Laser Solutions, after New Wave claimed that Laser Solutions’ Rapyulas MP-T1 030 and MPT-2030 tools infringe upon its patented AccuScribe systems technology for blue LED wafer-scribing products.

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