AES Semigas


7 December 2023

BluGlass acquires contract manufacturer GaNWorks Foundry for US$800,000

BluGlass Ltd of Silverwater, Australia — which develops and manufactures gallium nitride (GaN) blue laser diodes based on its proprietary low-temperature, low-hydrogen remote-plasma chemical vapor deposition (RPCVD) technology — has reached an agreement to acquire its Silicon Valley-based commercial contract manufacturing partner GaNWorks Foundry Inc for US$800,000, comprising 85% in 17,436,556 new BLG ordinary shares (US$680,000) issued from within the firm’s‘s existing capacity under ASX listing rule 7.1, plus 15% in cash (US$120,000, funded by the receipt of the firm’s $7.3m R&D rebate).

The acquisition includes core, speciality GaN wafer processing equipment and processes for n-side metallization, wafer thinning and laser bar cleave capabilities, which are both critical and complex processes in BluGlass’ laser manufacturing supply chain. These processes have previously been outsourced to GaNWorks — BluGlass’ only remaining wafer processing contract manufacturer. The equipment is expected to complete installation and process transfer at BluGlass’ Silicon Valley fab by 30 December. GaNWorks will provide transitional engineering services for 30 days from the acquisition date to complete process and knowledge transfer to BluGlass, completing the vertical integration of BluGlass’ laser fabrication facility in Fremont, CA, USA.

In addition, the transaction includes the transfer of an engineer with more than 10 years’ GaN processing experience to US-based BluGlass Inc, ensuring complete knowledge and process transfer. In-sourcing of n-side wafer thinning and laser bar cleave processes will speed development and production cycles of these steps by over 30% and are expected to deliver annualized savings of more than US$400,000. Operationally, vertical integration will further fast-track the firm’s growth strategy, increase laser production capacity, and accelerate advanced technical roadmaps.

“Bringing GaNWorks in-house is another incredibly rare opportunity. These processes are critical to our manufacturing supply chain, with the equipment alone costing on the order of US$3m to purchase new,” says BluGlass’ CEO Jim Haden. “Our acquisition of GaNWorks represents exceptional shareholder value, providing us with the necessary equipment, along with invaluable process, knowledge transfer and hands-on expertise. As one of just a handful of gallium nitride laser diode manufacturers globally, our acquisition of a specialist GaN contract manufacturer also increases barriers to entry for new players,” he adds.

“The acquisition represents the final step in our plan to in-source wafer processing, and further accelerates our long-term growth plans within the fast-growing GaN market, forecast to reach US$2.5bn by 2025,” Haden continues. “Vertical integration eliminates operational complexity, reduces process variability, and speeds product development. Dedicated in-house resources will further improve the quality and consistency of our lasers, while also enabling us to execute our strategic vision of becoming the industry’s easiest-to-use laser light, offering product development and manufacturing flexibility.”

See related items:

BluGlass gains US$1.775m contract with NCSU for laser development

BluGlass to receive full $7.3m R&D rebate from Australian Taxation Office

BluGlass completes acquisition of Silicon Valley laser diode fab

Tags: BluGlass


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