ASML to buy extreme-UV light-source maker Cymer

Veldhoven, The Netherlands, and San Diego, CA--Lithography system producer ASML will acquire EUV and excimer lithography light-source maker Cymer [CYMI] for EUR 1.95 billion (approximately US $2.6 billion), according to an announcement both companies made today (10/17/12).

Veldhoven, The Netherlands, and San Diego, CA--Lithography system producer ASML will acquire EUV and excimer lithography light-source maker Cymer [CYMI] for EUR 1.95 billion (approximately US $2.6 billion), according to an announcement both companies made today (10/17/12). In the deal, ASML will acquire all outstanding shares of Cymer in a cash-and-stock transaction.

Cymer started as a small four-person company back in the 1990s to create the first excimer laser devoted entirely to use as a light source by the semiconductor industry. Previous to the creation of Cymer, excimer lithography systems makers had to purchase stock excimer lasers designed for other purposes. Since then, Cymer has not only expanded greatly in size, but become a pioneer in the development of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light-source technology, which, at a wavelength of 13.5 nm (as opposed to the argon fluoride excimer wavelength of 193 nm), will help keep the industry on track as far as Moore's Law.

30 W of EUV, aiming for 105 W
ASML and Cymer have collaborated closely for more than a year, with ASML testing Cymer's EUV light sources in complete lithography systems. Cymer’s EUV light sources have for some time been exposing wafers at up to 11 W source power at customer facilities, leading to a throughput of 7 wafers per hour. ASML and Cymer have lab-tested a sustained 30 W source exposure power potential, which would boost throughput to 18 wafers per hour. ASML’s specified target remains at 105 W or 69 wafers per hour, to be achieved for 2014 microchip production.

As a result of the transaction, ASML will also acquire Cymer’s (deep ultraviolet, or DUV) excimer light source business. ASML believes this technology will continue to garner sales and profit. ASML intends to manage Cymer’s commercial operations as an independent division based in the United States, and will continue to deliver and service DUV and EUV sources for all customers on an "arm’s length" basis. ASML scanners will continue to interface with light sources from all manufacturers.

The transaction was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of ASML and Cymer and will entitle each Cymer shareholder to receive US $20.00 in cash and a fixed ratio of 1.1502 ASML ordinary shares per Cymer share. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2013.

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