Monday, March 5, 2012

Oerlikon to divest solar segment to Tokyo Electron

PFAFFIKON, SWITZERLAND: The Oerlikon Group has today agreed the terms of a divestment of its Solar Segment to a leading global supplier of semiconductor production equipment, Tokyo Electron Ltd (TEL) of Japan.

The sale is a strategic move for Oerlikon to further focus its portfolio and enable management to develop the larger, high performing businesses in the Group, in order to continue profitable growth. The transaction is structured to secure our customers and to maintain service levels at the highest standards.

After significant operational and cost structure improvements over the last two years, Oerlikon Solar will now be divested. Dr Michael Buscher, CEO of Oerlikon Group, comments: "This divestment is an important part of our strategy to streamline and balance the Group portfolio. TEL is an ideal strategic buyer for our solar business. Its main operations are close to the predominantly Asian customer base and having had a partnership with them for three years, they know our Solar Segment well.

"The sale will give us the opportunity to focus on our high performing businesses, where we have critical mass, strong market positions and the potential to grow even further with increased profitability. We are convinced that this step is also the best solution for our employees as TEL is a strategic buyer aiming to develop a core solar business."

Hiroshi Takenaka, president and CEO of TEL comments: "Oerlikon Solar has a long track record in thin film deposition technologies for photovoltaic module production equipment, as well as end-to-end production lines of the highest standard in the world. Over the past three years we have confirmed Oerlikon Solar's technological strength through our activities as a sales representative in the Asia and Oceania regions. TEL will take this opportunity to combine Oerlikon Solar's expertise and TEL's own semiconductor production equipment technologies that we have developed over many years to further improve performance.

"The establishment of operations in the photovoltaic power generation business, that is anticipated to demonstrate continued development in the future, is one part of TEL's growth strategies, and we are also confident that we can contribute to the mitigation of global environmental issues in our role as a production equipment manufacturer."

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