March 27, 2007 – The US Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division has closed its investigation of the proposed sale of Brooks Automation’s software division to Applied Materials, and the Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period has been terminated, meaning that the companies are free to close the proposed transaction as soon as practicable, the companies announced.
The $125 million deal proposed in November, had been under a second request of antitrust scrutiny by the DoJ.
With the sale, Brooks’ parent group aims to refocus on core semiconductor-related hardware offerings (automation modules and systems, and process enabling subsystems, for semiconductor fabs and equipment manufacturers), and also to strengthen its balance sheet (most of the sale price would go straight to profits).
AMAT, which widens its reach in factory automation software, will fold the business and employees into its Applied’s Global Services division. The only direct overlap in product lines could be in the MES space, noted Brooks president/CEO Edward Grady in the November conference call announcing the deal, but since most 300mm customers have already made purchasing decisions for fab software, no direct competition had been seen for several months, he said.