June 26, 2006 – Asyst Technologies Inc. has agreed to purchase 44.1% of outstanding shares its Japanese JV with Shinko Electric, essentially buying out its minority partner in the three-year-old venture which develops automated material handling systems for 300mm wafer production.
The company aims to achieve better synergies with product development and customer service, as well as generate a return for investors — Citigroup analyst Tim Arcuri estimates the initial benefit will be about $0.30 of adjusted EPS on an annualized basis. Asyst Shinko Inc. (ASI) will maintain its headquarters in Tokyo and manufacturing plants in Ise and Toyohashi, Japan.
Under the plan, Asyst’s subsidiary Asyst Japan Inc. will increase its consolidated ownership in ASI to 95.1% for 11.7 billion yen in cash (approximately US$102 million), with an option after one year to purchase the remaining 4.9% for a fixed payment of 1.3 billion yen ($11 million). The transaction will be funded by $20 million of cash and $95-$100 million of debt, with approximately $11 million of the debt in the form of a letter of credit. Asyst has established a three-year, $115 million credit and term loan facility through Banc of America Securities LLC, with participation from banks in the US and Japan to help finance the purchase of ASI shares from Shinko, as well as for working capital or corporate purposes.
ASI has seen revenues triple since its founding in 2002, to approximately $295 million in 2005, and Asyst claims the JV has become its primary source of profits.