Kopin® Corporation (NASDAQ: KOPN) today announced that it had entered into an agreement to sell its III-V assets to IQE plc (LSE: IQE), a leading UK-based designer and supplier of advanced semiconductor wafers. The all-cash, $75 million transaction will enable Kopin to focus exclusively on continued commercial development of Golden-i ®, the Company’s mobile communications technology platform, as well as on its microdisplay products. The closing of the transaction is expected to occur next week and is subject to customary closing conditions.
Kopin began producing III-V HBTs (heterojunction bipolar transistors) on gallium arsenide substrates in 1996. These products are part of advanced integrated circuits that are used in smartphones and other mobile communications devices. The Company’s III-V revenues through the first nine months of 2012 were approximately $44 million.
“Over the past 17 years, our III-V technology has contributed significantly to the operational success of Kopin and to advances in the wireless handset market,” said Dr. John C.C. Fan, the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “However, while the III-V product line is successful we have made the strategic decision to focus on our Golden-i technology which we believe has great potential. Accordingly, the board of directors believes that shareholders will be more effectively served by having the Company focusing its resources on expanding the commercial development of Golden-i and our display product line.”
Under the terms of the sale, Kopin will receive an up-front payment of $60 million, subject to certain working capital adjustments, from IQE and will receive the remaining $15 million in January 2016 on the three-year anniversary of the transaction. The transaction includes Kopin’s leased III-V product manufacturing facility in Taunton, Massachusetts as well as the Company’s investment in Kopin Taiwan Corp. (KTC), its 90% owned subsidiary located in Hsinchu, Taiwan.In October 2012, Kopin achieved a major milestone in its development of Golden-i technology. Motorola Solutions launched the HC1, the first commercially available headset computer powered by the Company’s Golden-i 3.5 reference model. Motorola’s product is a ruggedized version designed primarily for heavy industrial settings.