Jan. 25, 2002 – Tokyo, Japan – Final approval has been obtained for a merger between the silicon operations of Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd. and Mitsubishi Materials Corp., a marriage that will bring the industry’s number three and four companies to the number two position in sales of silicon wafers.
The companies will officially merge under the new name Sumitomo Mitsubishi Silicon Corporation on Feb. 1.
Combined sales of the new company, which is owned equally by both partners, represents nearly 25 percent of the $5.2 billion silicon wafer market that is the foundation of the world’s microelectronics industry.
Headquartered in Tokyo, SUMCO’s new president is Reijiro Mori, former director of Sumitomo. Minoru Mizukoshi, former chairman of Mitsubishi Materials Silicon, is executive vice president of SUMCO and chairman of SUMCO USA Corporation, headquartered in Fremont, CA. Kaz Nagano is president of SUMCO USA Corporation.
SUMCO has 15 manufacturing facilities globally, including six in the United States, and sales and engineering offices distributed to support customers doing business around the globe. The company’s customers include the world’s leading semiconductor makers.
SUMCO produces what may be the broadest technology base in the wafering industry, including products for DRAM, FLASH, ASIC, microprocessor, analog and discrete devices, in diameters from 100mm to 300mm. Through development partnerships with its customers, SUMCO plans to align its technologies with their needs, produce high quality products at fair prices, and ultimately lower the customer’s total cost of ownership.
“SUMCO’s combined resources, technological expertise and manufacturing capacity mean customers will have more choice and greater flexibility than they have ever experienced from any other wafer supplier,” says Kaz Nagano, newly appointed president of SUMCO USA Corporation.
The merger evolved from a relationship that began in March 1999, when Sumitomo and Mitsubishi formed a joint venture for development and manufacture of 300mm wafers for next-generation semiconductor devices. They subsequently have built a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility together and are ramping up for full production of 300mm wafers this year.
The success of their joint venture prompted the two companies to decide, in April 2001, to integrate their overall silicon operations. Both parent companies (Sumitomo Metal Industries, Ltd. and Mitsubishi Materials Corporation) will continue to separately operate other parts of their respective businesses, such as nonferrous and fabricated metals, cement, steel pipes and other products.
“This merger is a classic case of the sum being greater than the parts,” says Chet Brauch, CEO of the former Mitsubishi Silicon America, the US-based arm of Mitsubishi’s silicon operations. “We can leverage our size and strength in all areas, from advancing the technology to anticipating our customers’ global product needs.”