Tokyo Electron to buy FSI International for $252.5 million

Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:40am EDT

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(Reuters) - Japan's Tokyo Electron Ltd (8035.T) said it will buy chip-equipment maker FSI International Inc FSII.O for $252.5 million in cash, to add heft to its technology used to make smaller but faster chips used in cellphones and tablets.

The deal, valued at $6.20 per share, represents a 53 percent premium to FSI's closing price of $4.04 on August 10. FSI shares were up 52 percent at $6.16 on the Nasdaq on Monday.

Tokyo Electron said FSI's cleaning and surface preparation equipment used in making microchips will help the company improve its market position in the crucial category of 28 nanometer chips and below.

These chips feature transistors that measure 28 nanometers, or billionths of a meter, and are critical for the small chips used in cellphones and tablets.

Smartphones and tablets are the only bright spots for the semiconductor industry, which is struggling with dwindling PC sales and slowing demand.

Top chip gear maker Applied Materials Inc (AMAT.O), which provides manufacturing equipment for 28 nanometer chips, in July slashed its full-year targets but said demand for these chips would pick up soon.

Tokyo Electron said the deal, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of both companies, will be financed with existing cash resources.

FSI, which had revenue of $91 million for fiscal year 2011, forecast a weak fourth quarter as customers delayed orders amid a global economic slowdown.

(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale; Editing by Rodney Joyce)

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