Another casualty: FormFactor snaps up Electroglas’ motion-control biz

October 6, 2009 – The deep downturn in the semiconductor industry has claimed another casualty. Three months after filing voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy, long-struggling Electroglas has auctioned off some of its precision motion control automation IP and assets to FormFactor, for an undisclosed sum. The companies said EGLS’ wafer prober business is nearing auction sale to another unidentified third party.

The two firms already had a business deal in place since the beginning of the year — back in February they signed a $5M agreement ($300K up-front) for EGLS to develop and supply tools and technology for FORM. In a SEC filing EGLS had presciently hedged its bet, saying it could offer "no assurance that such deliverables will be made or that Electroglas will receive further payments." And a few weeks later the firm delisted from the NASDAQ, followed in July by the Chapter 11 filing.

EGLS is but the latest company to fold under the weight of a lengthy downturn, though it has struggled a bit before that. Earlier this summer Asyst Technologies (which previously filed for bankruptcy) sold off its business in three parts: AMHS to Murata ($115M), fab automation to Crossing Automation ($6.5M), and connectivity software to Peer Group ($2M).


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