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13 April 2007


Aixtron quashes takeover bid speculation

Aixtron AG of Aachen, Germany has denied that it is in merger discussions, following rumours in the financial press and speculation by several market analysts of a takeover bid from the the world's biggest semiconductor equipment manufacturer, Applied Materials Inc of Santa Clara, CA, USA.

Talking to Semiconductor Today, Aixtron’s head of Investor Relations Guido Pickert said: “We are not in discussions with Applied Materials regarding any merger activities. So the likelihood that the rumours could be true is extremely low. Sure it could make sense for them to look at our technology - but they could have done this already before at a much lower share price.”

Since the start of the year, Aixtron has seen a steady rise in its share prices, from a high of €3.59 on January 2 to €5.40 on April 2, but on April 10 the price jumped to €6.30 (the highest since March 2004), as the rumour spread. However, it is unclear whether the rumour sparked the share price increase or was a result of it.

“Our guess why this rumour came up might be the general positive sentiment towards mergers currently . . . together with somebody figuring that Applied Materials is looking for take-over targets and that AIX [Aixtron] could be a target for them,” added Pickert.

Applied Materials also saw a jump in share price on April 10, from a high of $18.75 the day before to $19.45, but a spokesperson for the company declined to comment on the takeover rumours.

As of midday today, Aixtron’s share price was at €6.37, up 17% on its high just over a week ago. “We are still above EUR 6 - which is a good level to get ready for our next jump in share price,” concluded Pickert.

See related item:

Aixtron’s 23% revenue growth in 2006 drives return to profitability

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