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Sensors/MEMS??

AMS's TAOS buy aims to enhance sensor tech platforms

Posted: 22 Jun 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:acquisition? sensor platforms? analog/mixed-signal?

Texas Advanced Optoelectronic Solutions Inc. (TAOS) and austriamicrosystems AG (AMS) have announced that they have entered into an agreement to combine the companies in a strategic transaction for 100 percent of TAOS shares. AMS, headquartered in Unterpremstaetten, Austria, designs and manufactures high-performance analog ICs for the consumer, communications, automotive, medical and industrial markets.

The combined company brings together complementary leadership capabilities in the areas of analog mixed-signal design, power management, intelligent sensors and sensor interfaces that are critical core competencies for developing future generations of advanced, intelligent or "smart" wireless/wired sensor platforms. Further synergies will be achieved with austriamicrosystems expertise in manufacturing and process technology to develop leading-edge SSoC (Sensor Systems-on-Chip) solutions. TAOS has had a longstanding and close relationship with AMS as a customer of the AMS' analog foundry business.

Kirk Laney

Laney: We are excited to join forces with AMS leveraging the combined expertise and IP of both companies as an industry leader in advanced sensor platforms and solutions.

As a result of the transaction, TAOS shareholders will receive cash and stock as they assume an approximately 20 percent stake in the combined company. The total value of the TAOS shares acquired by austriamicrosystems in the transaction will be approximately $320 million (220 million EUR). The transaction is expected to close within eight weeks subject to certain regulatory approvals and the occurrence of certain conditions defined in the agreements with the sellers of the TAOS shares.

"Acquiring TAOS results in a complementary expansion of our existing innovative sensor portfolio for mobile devices and considerable growth of our Consumer & Communications business. TAOS holds a strong market position as a leading, high-volume provider to many major makers of mobile consumer electronics worldwide. The strategic combination of austriamicrosystems and TAOS creates a significant provider of advanced sensor technologies for the attractive smartphone and tablet PC markets," emphasized John Heugle, CEO of austriamicrosystems.

"Our display management and proximity detection solutions bring important advantages to increasingly sophisticated devices like the latest-generation of mobile devices. Intelligent sensors are quickly becoming core elements of mainstream consumer and communications devices and open new opportunities in emerging applications. We are excited to join forces with AMS leveraging the combined expertise and IP of both companies as an industry leader in advanced sensor platforms and solutions," said Kirk Laney, CEO and president of TAOS.

The two companies have particularly strong balance sheets and high equity ratios. The financial strength of the combined entity will allow it to repay the debt associated with this transaction out of its own cash flow within 2 years, added Laney.

According to TAOS, AMS has high regard for the TAOS business and what has been accomplished with the current structure. Current plans following the close of the transaction will involve the existing TAOS organization moving forward substantially intact with Laney as president of the wholly-owned US subsidiary. Any organizational adjustments that consider business synergies will be made based only after in-depth assessment of the impact to current business and established business relationships.

In terms of the AMS/TAOS supply chain in Asia, there will be no changes in the current plans of both companies. However, TAOS and AMS will continue to utilize and maintain their respective existing supply chain to support the current and anticipated future business growth of the combined company.





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