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Asyst Technologies files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

20 April 2009 | By Mark Osborne | News > Fab Management

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Semiconductor fab automation specialist Asyst Technologies is to enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. as well as its Japanese subsidiaries, Asyst Technologies Japan Holdings Company, Inc. and Asyst Technologies Japan, Inc., which have entered voluntary proceedings under Japan’s Corporate Reorganization Law. Asyst said that the Chapter 11 was initiated due to defaulting on interest payments to KeyBank National Association, announced recently, which ‘accelerated the outstanding indebtedness under the term loan and revolving credit agreements and lines of credit.’

Asysts also said that delays in customer projects due to the semiconductor slump as well as delays in collecting debts, coupled to difficulties in obtaining lending which had restricted its ability to remain liquid.

The company expects to continue essential operations, including product support, service and warranty programs, during the Chapter 11 process and is also seeking a sale of the company and/or significant asset sales. Asyst is also evaluating debtor-in-possession financing to provide additional liquidity during the Chapter 11 period.

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Reader comments

How would this industry shape up as it moves at high speed towards the end of Moore's cliff? I believe there will be vanishing innovation capital, increase in government subsidies, shutdown of debt and private equity markets, and a wave of consolidations. The management team of Asyst should have gone after a merger months ago, perhaps a year ago. I do not believe this company should reemerge from Ch 11, their business model is broken and their technology base lacks market support going forward. They face imminent commoditization and sustained price/margins erosion. Their best option is to sell the remaining operations to AMAT or LAM. It was a good company for a while, although they never had sustainable competitive advantage, and never an original internal technology roadmap other than the ITRS roadmap. Troubling is the fact that there are many other companies in the Semi industry in the same situation, having relinquished radical innovation in favor of the ITRS roadmap.
By Adolfo Gutierrez on 21 April 2009

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