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Equity firm Bayside Capital buys Akrion assets, plans major investment in company

30 September 2008 | By Tom Cheyney | News > Wafer Processing

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akrion_baysidePrivate equity firm Bayside Capital has bought substantially all the assets of surface preparation equipment manufacturer Akrion Systems. The companies said the transaction includes a major investment from Bayside and positions Akrion for growth in both the semiconductor and solar cleaning equipment markets. Customers will benefit from the transaction through new product introductions, enhanced service levels, and expanded R&D.

"The transaction provides a long-term financial partner for Akrion Systems," said James S. Molinaro, president and CEO. "We have the resources to continue to provide superior support to existing customers while investing in research and development to grow both our batch-immersion and single-wafer product lines."

Bayside Capital is an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital, a leading global private equity firm with $7.5 billion of equity capital under management. Members of the Bayside team will serve on Akrion's board, while management will oversee day-to-day operations.

"Akrion Systems has a winning combination of proprietary technology, a global service team, and deep customer relationships," said Adam Schimel of Bayside Capital. "The company will benefit from the growing importance of surface preparation as semiconductor device geometries shrink. The company is also helping the solar industry produce more efficient solar cells at a lower cost. With Bayside's investment and ongoing strategic and operational support, Akrion Systems is well positioned to become the premier provider of surface preparation systems to the solar and semiconductor industry."

The Akrion news is the latest in a string of corporate shakeouts in the surface preparation and wafer-cleaning equipment sector, including Lam Research's acquisition of SEZ, weak sales and cutbacks at FSI International and Mattson, Sumitomo's failed attempts to take over Axcelis, and mixed results from the Tokyo Electron, Dainippon Screen, Novellus, and Applied Materials surface prep operations.

-- Tom Cheyney

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