Photronics shutting “unproductive” TX mask shop

March 31, 2006 – In an effort to streamline its “unproductive” photomask manufacturing infrastructure in North America, Photronics Inc., Brookfield, CT, said it will close its manufacturing facility in Austin, TX, taking a $15-$18 million charge in fiscal 2006 and laying off 6% of its workforce.

Development and manufacturing activities for its domestic customers previously served from the Austin facility?big customers Freescale Semiconductor and Samsung both have operations in Austin?will be serviced from the company’s “comparably equipped” global photomask sites. Most of the total expected charges ($10-$12 million) will be recorded during the company’s current fiscal quarter ending in April; the company expects to recoup those losses in less than two years through lower operating costs and increased manufacturing efficiencies. Photronics’ facility in Allen, TX, which involves work on “more mainstream technologies, is not affected by the restructuring plan, according to reports.

“There are three goals I have set for Photronics: profitable technology leadership, tighter global integration, and a leadership position in each of the markets we serve,” stated CEO Michael Luttati. “As currently configured and integrated into our global network, the Austin site was not aligned or positioned to successfully achieve a level of performance consistent with these expectations.”


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