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20 May 2013

GT acquires Thermal Technology

GT Advanced Technologies Inc of Nashua, NH, USA (a provider of polysilicon production technology as well as sapphire and silicon crystal growth systems and materials for the solar, LED and electronics markets) has acquired substantially all of the business of Thermal Technology LLC of Santa Rosa, CA, USA in exchange for about 3.4 million shares of GTAT common stock plus an earn out.

Thermal Technology develops high-temperature thermal and vacuum products used in the fabrication of materials that are deployed across industries including smartphones and touch screens, LED, medical devices, oil and gas and automotive. Since it was founded 60 years ago, the firm has delivered over 3000 products to customers in over 40 countries.

GT has acquired several key products and technologies that will allow it to address new markets with a range of production equipment options that can be optimized around customers’ specific needs. This includes annealing technology that it believes will be important in the manufacturing of sapphire cover screens; crystal growth technology based on the Kyropoulous (KY) growth method and edge-defined film growth (EFG) technology for large-surface-area sapphire. It has also acquired Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) technology, which allows dense ceramics to be obtained under uniform heating at relatively low temperatures and in short processing times. The SPS technology is expected to have a wide range of applications including medical applications, sputtering targets, space applications and thermoelectric convertors for hybrid electric cars.

“The acquisition of the Thermal Technology business adds a number of innovative and important products and technologies to our rapidly diversifying portfolio that will, we believe, allow us to accelerate our entrance into new markets,” says GT’s president & CEO Tom Gutierrez. “The acquisition expands our served markets and complements several of our current product lines. In areas such as sapphire crystal growth, we can now offer customers a wider range of product options best suited to their specific production environments. This will enable us to compete for incremental business in areas where we would have previously been unable to offer a product,” he adds.

“The acquisition will open new opportunities for growth for our products and technology as we integrate them into GT’s business operations,” says Thermal Technology’s president & CEO Matt Mede. “Leveraging GT’s leadership in engineering and product development and their strengths in low-cost global supply chain management will accelerate the time-to-market of our technology to drive market adoption in several promising markets,” he adds. “Customers will also benefit through GT's global service and support capabilities.”

GT does not expect the acquisition to materially impact its 2013 revenue or earnings guidance range. The anticipated revenue contribution from the Thermal Technology business in the balance of 2013 is $9-14m. GT expects minimal impact on earnings per share as expenses and the increase in share count will limit the contribution during the initial year of integration.

Tags: GT Sapphire furnace


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