Brooks forges JV to tighten Japan ties

May 8, 2006 – Brooks Automation Inc. is forming a joint venture with Japan’s Yaskawa Electric to boost its presence in Japan, and acquiring the firm’s US subsidiary to enhance its custom manufacturing services business.

The new JV, Yaskawa Brooks Automation Inc. (YBA), will be the companies’ exclusive provider of Yaskawa’s semiconductor robotics products and Brooks’ automation hardware in Japan, with projected revenues exceeding $100 million in its first full year of operation. The deal does not include Yaskawa’s robots used in flat-panel display manufacturing or its motion control products, nor Brooks’ software or products of recently acquired Helix Technology.

Brooks also is acquiring Yaskawa’s US subsidiary, Synetics Solutions Inc. for an undisclosed amount, in order to strengthen Brooks’ “customer designed automation” business. That unit will be operated as a division of Brooks, with incremental annual revenues expected to be about $70-$80 million.

The JV, a 50-50 partnership, will help Brooks “participate in the mainstream of the Japanese semiconductor equipment market together with one of the most highly regarded companies in Japan,” stated Edward Grady, president and CEO of Brooks. He added that vertical integration and rapid prototyping capabilities gained in the Synetics deal will provide “greater flexibility in responding to customer requirements in the creation and delivery of custom manufacturing services.”

The YBA joint venture and the Synetics transactions are expected to close in June, with the JV expected to commence full operations in September. Together, the deals are expected to be accretive to Brooks’ earnings in the first full year of operation.


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