Unaxis consolidates front- and back-end businesses

August 27, 2003 – To better cope with the cyclical semiconductor industry and improve its position in the global marketplace, Unaxis Corp., Cham, Switzerland, is planning to merge several of its operations under one organizational roof.

The plan calls for the merger of three groups — ESEC chip assembly (in which Unaxis already holds a controlling share), and Unaxis Semiconductor’ front-end and display units, all of which collectively reported total sales of about $280 million in 2002. The deal comes just a few weeks after ESEC reported a quarterly decrease in bookings and predicted overall 2003 sales would change little from the previous year.

Under the proposed merger, ESEC CEO Asuri S. Raghavan will head up the new company, which will keep the Unaxis Semiconductors name as well as retain the ESEC brand. ESEC shares would be exchanged for 1.1 shares of Unaxis, and ESEC would be subsequently delisted from the Swiss stock exchange. Unaxis will also lay off approximately 60 of its 1,500 employees, mostly at facilities in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

The company expects the merger to be completed by mid-October, pending a signed definitive merger agreement and a vote of approval by ESEC shareholders.


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