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30 September 2008


Kulicke & Soffa completes sale of wire business unit

Chip assembly equipment and packaging materials supplier Kulicke & Soffa Industries Inc (K&S) of Fort Washington, PA, USA has completed the sale of its wire business unit (announced at the end of July) to German precious metals and technology group W.C. Heraeus GmbH for $165m (including estimated working capital adjustments). The final consideration will be subject to additional, post-closing working capital adjustments.

K&S and Heraeus have also entered into a development and engineering services agreement to provide reciprocal base engineering support, and will consider joint R&D initiatives aimed at customers' future packaging needs.

"This transaction will provide us with the financial resources and technical focus necessary to pursue attractive growth opportunities on the equipment side of our business," says K&S' chairman and CEO Scott Kulicke. "The working capital requirements of the wire business have become significant in recent years and we believe can no longer be justified," he adds. "The wire business fits Heraeus' core competencies well, especially in global precious metals trading and related services like refining. Heraeus has the necessary resources to support the continued growth of this business, and to exploit the advanced wire products like MaxSoft and Relmax we have recently developed." The development and engineering arrangement formed with Heraeus will allow K&S to cooperatively pursue technical opportunities between the two businesses, Kulicke concludes.

"This transaction strengthens our balance sheet and, together with our pending acquisition of Orthodyne [a supplier of ultrasonic wedge bonders and wedges for the power management and hybrid module markets], will deliver value to our shareholders," says K&S' senior VP and chief financial officer Maurice Carson. "Coupled with last year's acquisition of Alphasem [a Swiss-based supplier of die bonder equipment], we believe we have enhanced our already strong position in the semiconductor assembly business, along with our ability to respond to customer needs as industry conditions improve."

See related item:

K&S to acquire Orthodyne Electronics and divest Wire Business Unit

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