Editor’s Note: Though this is not a exactly a 450mm story, for those in the industry, it has strong implications. This is a positive move forward for 450mm. The political and supply-chain implications are enormous. Intel’s significant investment (partial ownership) of ASML (EUV Lithography OEM), who will potentially own Cymer (EUV laser supplier), is an interesting quasi-vertical integration. In some of the economic modeling done in the past, trying to view the impact of 450mm on the entire supply chain, we viewed the industry as one large company. Purchases like ASML’s make this viewpoint somewhat plausible. Capital equipment (particularly lithography) is the largest cost driver for 450mm fabs, with wafer price being the biggest operating cost. Removing some of the equipment cost by absorbing 2nd tier suppliers and their margins is certainly one way to shrink fab costs (assuming chipmakers can pressure ASML to pass through some savings). It will also speed up 450mm EUV litho tool development: improved communication, fewer concerns about sharing development data between engineering departments, and direct control over Cymer engineering data disclosure are just a few benefits. Overall, a significant announcement.
ASML Holding NV (ASML), Europe’s largest semiconductor-equipment supplier, agreed to buy Cymer Inc. (CYMI) for 1.95 billion euros ($2.6 billion), its biggest deal ever, to satisfy customer demand for more advanced chipmaking technology.
Cymer investors will get 1.15 ASML ordinary shares and $20 in cash for each stock, the companies said today. That values Cymer at 72 percent more than the stock’s close in New York yesterday. The shares jumped 57 percent to $74.86 at 10:18 a.m. local time. ASML fell as much as 5.6 percent in Amsterdam.
The acquisition will help ASML, whose customers include Samsung Electronics Co. (005930)and Intel Corp. (INTC), accelerate research in costly next-generation techniques to make semiconductors more powerful even as they become smaller. Veldhoven, Netherlands- based ASML said today its second-half sales will be at the lower end of forecasts of 2.2 billion euros to 2.4 billion euros.