24 March 2022
BluGlass acquiring US laser fab for $2.5m
BluGlass Ltd of Silverwater, Australia – which has developed proprietary low-temperature, low-hydrogen remote-plasma chemical vapor deposition (RPCVD) technology for manufacturing devices such as laser diodes, next-generation LEDs and micro-LEDs – has agreed to acquire the lease on a commercial 19,000ft2 purpose-built laser diode production facility in Silicon Valley (Fremont, CA, USA) plus manufacturing equipment for US$2.5m (US$2.5m comprising US$2m cash and US$500,000 of new BluGlass shares). The acquisition should fast-track BluGlass’ growth strategy, significantly increasing its laser manufacturing capacity and bringing forward higher-value product development timelines, says the firm.
To fund the acquisition and ongoing operation of the production facility (including adapting it for GaN laser production), BluGlass has secured Aus$3.4m via a placement of shares to new and existing institution funds and investors. The firm is also undertaking a non-renounceable 1:4 entitlement offer to raise up to a further Aus$7.5m to fund ongoing operations of the production facility and to enable shareholders to participate on the same terms as the placement.
“We plan to take advantage of a unique opportunity to acquire a full-suite commercial laser diode fab for a fraction of the circa US$40m it would cost us to build today,” notes president Jim Haden. “The acquisition aligns and accelerates our longer-term growth plans, bringing core fabrication processes in-house to eliminate supply chain variability and improve the quality and consistency of our laser diodes. Importantly, it provides us with greater control over development roadmaps, enabling us to launch higher-value products sooner,” he adds.
“In addition to more than quadrupling development, manufacturing turns and wafer capacity, our own fab enables us to halve production costs and has the potential to bring forward positive cashflows to 2024/2025. It triples our revenue generation capacity, and allows us to execute on our strategic vision of becoming the industry’s easiest-to-use laser light by offering the most flexible and agile product development and manufacturing. As one of just four end-to-end gallium nitride laser diode manufacturers globally, we have a significant opportunity to build share within a fast-growing market expected to reach US$2.5bn by 2025,” Haden continues.
“The acquisition will fast track our transition from a cutting-edge R&D company to a commercial provider of industry-leading GaN laser diodes,” Haden believes. “Over the past year, we have attracted industry experts to our management and board, advanced our product development of multiple laser products and are delivering against a clear commercialization and growth strategy. A Silicon Valley-based fab increases our access to highly skilled semiconductor and GaN talent even further.”
“We’re encouraged by the strong ongoing support of our existing investors, and welcome new institutional funds to the register at a pivotal period for the company. BluGlass is focused on the commercialization of our first direct-to-market laser diodes,” Haden says. “We have the right team and strategy in place and are now in the process of securing the final piece of the puzzle, a manufacturing fab to further expand our product offering and scale our operations.”