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October 17, 2012

ASML Acquires Cymer for $2.5B, Deal May Encourage EUV Semiconductor Lithography Development

ASML, a chip gear maker based in The Netherlands, will acquire Cymer (News - Alert) for $2.5 billion.

The acquisition will allow ASML to “speed up the development of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) semiconductor lithography,” according to a report from Reuters News Service.

EUV is seen as important to producing chips which are smaller, quicker, more economical, less energy demanding, and smarter. The chips will likely be used in future smartphones and tablet computers.

The deal is made up of shares of stock and cash, and is expected to close in the first half of next year after getting needed approvals.

“Combining Cymer’s expertise in EUV light sources with ASML’s expertise in lithography systems design and integration will reduce the risk and accelerate the introduction of this extremely complex technology,” according to a joint company statement.

“We believe that this transaction will improve our capabilities to bring new technologies to our customers, and will deliver value to Cymer’s and ASML’s shareholders,” Eric Meurice, president and CEO of ASML, said in the company statement. “We expect the merger to make EUV technology development significantly more efficient and simplify the supply chain and integration flow of the EUV modules. We are also very much encouraged by the opportunities that we expect to create around Cymer’s growing advanced Immersion systems and dry Deep Ultraviolet (DUV) Installed Base Products (IBP) business.”

“Over the last several years, Cymer has been investing significant capital towards developing EUV source technology. We are very encouraged that ASML’s resources will enable the combined company to continue to develop and successfully commercialize EUV on an accelerated time frame,” Bob Akins, chairman and CEO of Cymer, added in a statement. “The success of EUV is critical to the semiconductor industry, and we view this merger as very attractive for our shareholders, customers and employees as well as our industry.”

In other recent news, ASML reported lower-than-expected Q3 orders and predicts that Q4 sales will be at the lower end of forecasts.

“We have performed as planned regarding third-quarter sales and profit,” Meurice said in a company statement carried by TMCnet. "As we enter 2013, we recognize our customers' uncertainty regarding the underlying semiconductor demand for the tablet and smartphone segments, as well as for the PC business, which has not yet been accelerated by Windows 8 and the ultra-book form factor. We see, however, sustained demand from the logic sector as the planned 28 nanometer node strategic build-up to a worldwide capacity of 300,000 wafer starts per month is expected to be achieved by mid-2013, and as the 22 nanometer logic ramp will start in the second half of next year. Spending by memory customers is expected to remain subdued in the next two quarters. In addition to these fundamental market drivers, we anticipate the shipments of our first 11 NXE:3300B EUV systems that will help prepare our customers for the insertion of EUV in volume production lines by 2014.”

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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