March 18, 2005 – Aviza Technology Inc., Scotts Valley, CA, and Trikon Technologies Inc., Newport, Wales, UK, have agreed to merge to form a $160 million company combining Trikon’s plasma etch, physical-vapor deposition (PVD), and chemical-vapor deposition (CVD) systems, with Aviza’s thermal processing and ALD tools.
The two firms will be folded into a new company called Aviza Technology Inc., with Aviza as the 60/40 majority owner and VantagePoint Venture Partners, Aviza’s largest stockholder, owning approximately 50% of the new company. Aviza president and CEO Jerry Cutini and EVP/CFO Patrick O’Connor will retain their titles with the new company, with Trikon CEO John Macneil becoming EVP and CTO, and Trikon board member Robert Anderson named as chairman. The two companies had combined annual revenues of approximately $160 million in CY04, with approximately 700 employees and a worldwide installed base of more than 3000 systems. The deal has been approved by Aviza stockholders, and is subject to approval by Trikon shareholders and other customary conditions.
What prompted the move? “Trikon came to us asking about technology,” said Cutini, in a conference call announcing the merger. Trikon’s Macneil further explained that ALD, coupled with PVD or other surface preparation modules, “potentially opens up opportunities for us,” adding that there also are other possible synergies with Trikon’s Flowfill product, e.g., used in either pre- or post-furnace steps.
From Aviza’s perspective, “we wanted to have more of a technology footprint in customers’ fabs,” Cutini said, noting that pairing with Trikon “essentially triples our market to $5.5-$6 billion.” Aviza has a strong presence in Asia, and Trikon in the US and Europe, according to Cutini. He claimed there is very little product overlap between the two companies — “nothing has to be thrown over the side of the boat.” Cutini also pointed to several areas of cost savings and complementary abilities — e.g., Aviza did not acquire a sales force when it was formed through the purchase of ASML’s thermal business in October 2003.
During the analyst call, Cutini indicated that the new company would seek additional financing, and will complete an S4 filing with the SEC in three or four weeks, which will disclose more information about privately held Aviza’s finances, including its debt and profitability. Acknowledging speculation that the new entity would seek to go public given its VC majority ownership, he admitted the reorganization plan is “essentially filing as an IPO new registration,” adding that both he and O’Connor have taken companies public before. — J.M.