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Cohu To Acquire Ismeca

Stocks in this article: COHU

Cohu, Inc. (NASDAQ: COHU) today announced that it has agreed to acquire Ismeca Semiconductor Holding SA (Ismeca) from Schweiter Technologies AG for $54.5 million, plus acquired cash, to be funded out of Cohu’s existing cash reserves. The transaction is subject to certain closing conditions and is expected to be completed during Cohu’s first fiscal quarter of 2013.

Ismeca, with headquarters in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland and major operations in Malacca, Malaysia and Suzhou, China, designs, manufactures and sells turret-based test handling and back-end finishing equipment for ICs, LEDs and discrete components. Ismeca’s unaudited sales for the twelve months ended June 2012 were approximately $84 million.

James A. Donahue, Cohu Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “With the acquisition of the #1 turret company, Cohu extends its leadership position and product portfolio in the semiconductor test handler market. Ismeca is also a leader in the LED market which is projected to experience significant growth as this technology is broadly adopted for general lighting. This transaction strengthens Cohu’s position in semiconductor test handlers and significantly expands our addressable market.”

Donahue continued, “We will offer customers the broadest range of test handling solutions, spanning pick and place, gravity, test-in-strip, and now, turret-based equipment. Additionally, Ismeca is an established leader in back-end finishing equipment for IC, LED and discrete components. This transaction is expected to provide significant operational synergies, leveraging Ismeca’s manufacturing operations in Asia and strengthening our market-leading global sales and service organization.”

Donahue concluded, “With no product overlap and clear operational synergies, we believe the acquisition of Ismeca will have substantial long-term benefits for Cohu’s shareholders, customers and employees. Though the near term prospects for the backend semiconductor equipment industry are uncertain, we expect this acquisition to deliver EPS accretion greater than 20% when business conditions improve.”

Following the acquisition, Ismeca will continue to be led by its current senior management team, including President Lorenzo Giarrè, and will join Delta Design, Inc. and Rasco GmbH in Cohu’s Semiconductor Equipment Group (SEG). Luis A. Müller, Cohu SEG President, stated, “Our acquisition of Rasco in 2008 has been highly successful and this is a logical, further expansion of our served market. We have been impressed with the talented and experienced Ismeca team and look forward to working together to grow sales in our traditional IC test handling segment and expand into the LED and discrete markets.”

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