announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the Microelectronic
Inspection Equipment (MIE) business unit of Vistec Semiconductor Systems, which
is wholly owned by Golden Gate Capital, a San Francisco-based private equity
firm. The MIE business unit of Vistec is headquartered in Weilburg, Germany
and provides advanced semiconductor mask and wafer manufacturing systems. Financial
terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Vistec’s MIE business unit is one of three internationally active business
units of Vistec Semiconductor Systems, which was formerly a part of Leica Microsystems
and took on its current name in March 2006.
“The Microelectronic Inspection Equipment division of Vistec not only
complements KLA-Tencor’s product portfolio, it will give us an opportunity
for growth into new segments of the mask and wafer markets. Vistec’s mask
registration measurement systems will enable us to offer an expanded range of
products that provide increased operational benefits to our customers,”
said Rick Wallace, CEO of KLA-Tencor. “With its heritage as part of the
Leica group, Vistec has a deep technology foundation that will be a good fit
with KLA-Tencor’s culture of innovation in optics and other advanced technologies.”
Gerhard Ruppik, General Manager of Vistec’s MIE business unit, said,
“Becoming part of KLA-Tencor, the world leader in inspection and metrology,
is a unique opportunity for us to accelerate our advanced technology development.”
Vistec’s advanced mask metrology tools for registration metrology (pattern
placement) are among the leading tools in this area. In addition, the company’s
latest pattern placement metrology tool, which is already being used by customers
to measure prototype EUV masks, offers state-of-the-art repeatability and accuracy
in 2-dimensional coordinate measurement. The MIE business unit of Vistec is
also a leading provider of SEM-based tools for mask critical dimension (CD)
measurement, with products designed to meet the requirements of 45nm photomask
production and 32nm development. Other MIE technologies include macro defect-inspection
systems, overlay-measurement systems for MEMS applications, and software packages
for defect classification and data analysis.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory
approvals, and is expected to close before the end of calendar year 2008.