October 12, 2006 – Kulicke & Soffa Industries Inc. says it is entering the die bonder market with an agreed-upon $30 million acquisition of equipment supplier Alphasem, a subsidiary of Dover Technologies International Inc. The deal is expected to close in about three weeks.
The die bonding process precedes wire bonding steps in semiconductor chip manufacturing, and often utilize adjacent floor space and common engineering personnel, so the deal is “a natural extension of K&S’ core equipment business,” said Christian Rheault, K&S equipment segment VP, in a statement. “Wire bonders and die bonders share many common functions, software features, sub-assemblies, and components. We believe joining the engineering and manufacturing expertise of Alphasem and K&S will yield superior equipment platforms.”
Alphasem posted sales of about $60 million in 2005, about 11% of the total $520 million market as defined by VLSI Research figures. Alphasem competes in the die bonding market with ESEC (part of Unaxis), Datacon, Nichiden, and ASM Pacific Technology. Several years ago K&S marketed Datacon’s multichip module and flip chip die bonder product line worldwide, excluding Europe.