27 October 2021
5N Plus’ acquisition of AZUR SPACE receives regulatory approval
Specialty semiconductor and performance materials producer 5N Plus Inc of Montreal, Québec, Canada has received the necessary approval from relevant regulatory agencies for its acquisition (announced in late March) of AZUR SPACE Solar Power GmbH of Heilbronn, Germany, which develops and manufactures multi-junction solar cells based on III-V compound semiconductor materials. The firm expects the deal to close within the next few weeks.
5N Plus provides purified metals such as bismuth, gallium, germanium, indium, selenium and tellurium, and also produces related II-VI semiconducting compounds such as cadmium telluride (CdTe), cadmium sulphide (CdS) and indium antimonide (InSb) as precursors for the growth of crystals for solar, LED and eco-friendly materials applications. Operating R&D, manufacturing and commercial centers in several locations in North America, Asia and Europe (including three in Germany and one in Belgium), the firm supplies to the thin-film PV renewable energy industry and is a supplier within the US satellite supply chain.
“AZUR’s acquisition is a key element of 5N Plus’s strategic transformation toward critical material technology,” says 5N Plus’ president & CEO Arjang Roshan. “AZUR’s cutting-edge space technology and exceptional talent firmly and uniquely positions our company as a leader in the field of specialty semiconductors and engineered substrates at a time when these technologies are of paramount importance,” he believes. With nearly 60 years of experience in space solar cell manufacturing, AZUR is supported by nearly 120 patent families.
“The long-standing trust and mutual respect between our businesses will ensure a successful integration, the results of which will unlock a well of untapped potential to serve rapidly scaling and essential markets,” believes says AZUR’s managing director Jürgen Heizmann, who will join 5N Plus’s Executive Committee pending closure of the acquisition.
As well as developing and manufacturing II-VI compound semiconductor materials, 5N Plus has expanded its value chain to include the growth and manufacturing of a variety of semiconductor crystals and engineered compound semiconductor wafers. The vertical integration of AZUR into 5N Plus creates a global enterprise with what is reckoned to be a unique ecosystem across the specialty semiconductor value-chain, spanning from the procurement and processing of critical materials to the manufacturing of finished epitaxy engineered substrates.
Spanning three sites in Canada, Germany and the USA, this ecosystem – dubbed the Specialty Semiconductor Triad – enables 5N Plus to provide competitive and customized solutions to a number of essential industries. The acquisition is expected to benefit the firm’s current business within the renewable energy, security and space industries, while also enabling 5N Plus to enter new markets such as high-power electronics, electric mobility, wireless charging and advanced communications.
“AZUR’s addition to the 5N Plus family will make a material contribution to our electronic materials business,” says 5N Plus’ chief financial officer Richard Perron. “AZUR is an established business supported by sustainable operating activities and relatively low integration complexity. The solid backlog of future business supported by a pool of best-in-class talent and a strong platform of technologies will elevate the combined capabilities of our two companies and enable future growth,” he concludes.