Plainview, NY--Veeco Instruments has signed an agreement to acquire privately held Synos Technology (Fremont, CA), designer and manufacturer of Fast Array Scanning atomic layer deposition (FAST-ALD) [trade mark] systems that enable the production of flexible organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays for mobile devices. While traditional ALD is slow, costly, and limited to "chamber-sized" reactors, FAST-ALD can deposit materials below 100º C and ten times faster, making it capable of deposition on substrates with virtually no size limitation. Synos' patented linear reactor allows the chemical reaction to occur at the substrate’s surface. When utilized for OLED encapsulation, FAST-ALD becomes a key enabler of unbreakable and flexible printed OLED devices.
"We have found a great fit to add to Veeco's technology portfolio and expand our growth opportunities," said John R. Peeler, Veeco's Chairman and CEO. "Synos is an early stage company with big growth potential. We believe that their fast array scanning ALD technology for thin film encapsulation layers will remove the primary barrier to adoption of flexible OLED displays, helping make unbreakable, light-weight mobile displays a reality. Their systems are poised to move from pilot line to full production at the world leader in mobile OLED displays." Synos' first pilot production system has been installed and the manufacturing ramp is currently expected to begin in 2014.
According to industry forecasting firm IHS iSuppli, the flexible OLED display market is expected to grow from $21 million in 2013 to almost $12 billion by 2020, and will revolutionize the entire display industry. Peeler added, "Near-term, we believe the OLED equipment market opportunity for Synos' ALD technology exceeds $400 million for mobile phones alone. We also see numerous extended opportunities for this breakthrough ALD technology in OLED TV, lighting, solar, batteries and other large adjacent markets."
The initial purchase price is $70 million. Synos shareholders will receive additional payments upon the achievement of future performance milestones, with maximum potential consideration for the transaction of $185 million. The merger is scheduled to close in the fourth quarter of 2013. Synos is currently expected to be dilutive to Veeco in 2014 and solidly accretive in 2015.
Synos has over 45 ALD technology and process patents issued or pending, and employs approximately 50 people in California and Korea.
Veeco's process equipment solutions enable the manufacture of LEDs, power electronics, hard drives, MEMS and wireless chips through MOCVD, MBE, ion beam, and other advanced thin-film process technologies.