13 January 2010


III-V opto foundry CST acquires laser manufacturer Intense

Compound Semiconductor Technologies Global Ltd (CST) of West of Scotland Science Park, Glasgow, UK has acquired the UK fabrication assets (in Hamilton, near Glasgow) of Intense Ltd, which makes single- and multi-mode monolithic laser array products and high-power laser diodes.

As part of the transaction, Intense will retain a minority stake in CST, which was formed in 1998 by the universities of Strathclyde and Glasgow together with Scottish Enterprise and claims to be the only 'pure play' foundry supplier of III-V optoelectronics wafers and chips.

CST says that the acquisition is in line with its expansion strategy, underpinned in May 2009 by finance worth £4m (£2.15m of new investment and the restructuring of £1.85m of long-term debt) from private equity fund European Digital Partners (EDP), Scottish Enterprise’s co-investment fund, and the Scottish Government’s Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) scheme. The acquisition also further strengthens CST’s optoelectronics foundry business model with new technical capability, engineering resources and production capacity. The deal will allow CST to consolidate all production activities in Hamilton and extend its existing contract laser manufacturing relationship with Intense.

“This is a natural progression of the acceptance of the favourable economics of the foundry business model in the optoelectronics sector,” says CEO Neil Martin. “It also affirms our long-held belief in the ‘pure-play’ foundry,” he adds.

“We are seeing solid growth in established markets such as FTTH [fiber-to-the-home] and defense, which has supported our expansion in the current recessionary period,” Martin continues. “Increased capacity is required to support further growth in these markets and to allow us to develop new foundry offerings for emerging technologies driven by ‘cleantech‘ applications in sensing, energy and medical markets,” he adds. “We are investing now in order to be ready to take advantage of new opportunities that will certainly emerge through the global economic recovery.”

See related item:

Scottish opto foundry CSTG secures $6m refinance deal

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