Bruker AXS to Acquire Atomic Force/Scanning Probe Microscopy Company

Published on August 18, 2008 at 10:11 PM

Bruker AXS GmbH today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire all of the equity of S.I.S. Surface Imaging Systems GmbH, a company with annual revenues of approximately $3 million. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2008, and no further financial details were provided.

S.I.S. Surface Imaging Systems GmbH is located in Herzogenrath, near Aachen, Germany. S.I.S. develops, manufactures and distributes advanced atomic force/scanning probe microscopy systems (AFM/SPM) for numerous applications in materials research, including semiconductors, data storage, electronic materials, solar cells, polymers and catalysts. AFM/SPM is a well-established method for ultra-high spatial resolution surface imaging and the characterization of surfaces down to atomic dimensions. The global SPM market had an estimated total market size of $200-300 million in 2007.

S.I.S. offers a product range from bench-top high-performance AFM-only microscopes to integrated high-end AFM/optical microscopy (OM) combinations, all the way to large floor-standing AFM/OM combination instruments for the characterization of 300mm wafers in a clean room environment. The S.I.S. core technology includes extremely compact AFM/SPM subunits which can be integrated easily with other analytical instruments such as optical microscopes, Raman microscopes or micro-hardness testers.

S.I.S. Surface Imaging Systems GmbH was founded in 1993 by Dr. Frank Saurenbach and Dr. Hans-Achim Fuss, two physicists with extensive experience in AFM/SPM technology. After the acquisition, S.I.S. will remain in Herzogenrath and will be renamed to “Bruker Nano GmbH”. Drs. Saurenbach and Fuss will continue to lead the business as Managing Directors. While successful S.I.S. distributors will be retained, Bruker AXS will contribute its global materials research marketing, technical sales, demonstration, training and service capabilities, as well as R&D and operating management assistance, to accelerate the revenue and margin growth of the future Bruker Nano GmbH.

Dr. Saurenbach, Managing Director of S.I.S., stated: "We are very excited about this acquisition because we see a strong potential for revenue growth using Bruker AXS' global distribution capabilities. Being part of the international Bruker AXS organization will enable us to grow our customer base around the globe and offer our existing customers enhanced applications support and service capabilities for our innovative, high quality AFM products."

Dr. Fuss, Managing Director of S.I.S., added: “We are looking forward to strengthening our R&D activities for the AFM/SPM products under the new ownership of Bruker AXS.”

Dr. Frank Burgaezy, Executive Vice President of Bruker AXS Inc., commented: “Many of the AFM/SPM market segments and applications overlap with those of our X-ray diffraction (XRD) business, making the S.I.S. products an excellent addition for our established worldwide XRD sales force. This clear marketing and distribution synergy is expected to be a major driver for the growth of our new Bruker AFM/SPM product line.”

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