Japan’s Sumitomo buys US MEMS etch firm

June 28, 2007 – Primaxx Inc., an Allentown, PA-based developer of MEMS etch equipment, has agreed to be acquired by Sumitomo Precision Products Co. Ltd., its partner in Japan for selling and servicing MEMS-CET etching products, for an undisclosed all-cash deal. Sumitomo will continue to maintain Primaxx operations in Allentown and retain all current employees, the companies claim.

The deal gives Sumitomo a combined portfolio of etch and deposition businesses: Primaxx’s MEMS sacrificial oxide etch release technology, and the deep silicon etch and deposition business of UK-based Surface Technology Systems Plc., in whom Sumitomo owns a majority stake. The deal also presumably caps an exit strategy for Primaxx’s main investor, Techfarm Ventures, as well as JPMorgan Partners.

Paul Hammond, president/CEO of Primaxx, noted that folding into Sumitomo’s organization provides “a financial and technological framework to further develop our MEMS business,” as well as the ability to fund development in other areas including wafer surface modification. He added Primaxx is currently breakeven with >20 tool shipments since 2004, half of which are cluster-based for volume production.


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