Applied bolsters services arm with ATMI unit

December 17, 2004 – Applied Materials Inc., Santa Clara, CA, has added another facet to its growing services division, acquiring the treatment systems division of materials and materials packaging provider ATMI Inc., Danbury, CT, for an undisclosed cash amount.

The San Jose-based business provides point-of-use abatement systems incorporating dry, wet, thermal, and integrated thermal/wet technologies for treating gas emissions from process chambers. It will be absorbed as a division of Applied’s Metron Technology subsidiary, which was acquired in August and finalized this month (and renamed as Nortem NV).

For ATMI, the sale for “a small gain” represents the final step in a yearlong effort to diversify six noncore operations, ending up with cash proceeds of about $100 million, according to company CFO Dan Sharkey.

The six units divested in 2004 include: gallium nitride substrates and epitaxies (sold to Cree), specialty epitaxial services (International Rectifier), fab parts-cleaning services (Materials Support Resources), Emosyn smart cards (Silicon Storage Technology), and life-safety sensors (First Technology).

ATMI CEO Gene Banucci said the decision to sell to Applied was twofold: a desire to find a buyer with top-notch service capabilities to support the industry’s largest installed base of abatement treatment systems, as well as offer the best chance for employee retention and growth for ATMI workers staying with the business. “We believe Applied Materials is the optimum buyer on both counts,” said Banucci, who will hand over the CEO reigns next month to COO Doug Neugold in a move to separate the top management position from the chairmanship.


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