Applied Materials Inc., a Santa Clara, Calif.-based nanotechnology developer, has agreed to acquire HCT Shaping Systems SA (HCT), a precision wafering supplier based in Cheseaux, Switzerland. Under terms of the agreement, Applied will pay approximately $475 million in cash for all of the outstanding shares of HCT.
According to Applied Materials, the acquisition is part of Applied's strategy to accelerate customers' ability to reduce the costs of photovoltaic (PV) cell manufacturing to make solar energy more competitive with grid electricity.
‘This acquisition aligns well with our overall strategy to drive down the cost-per-watt of solar power for c-Si and thin film applications,’ says Mike Splinter, president and chief executive officer of Applied Materials. ‘HCT will significantly expand our opportunities in the c-Si PV technology sector, which currently comprises 90 percent of solar panel production.’
Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of certain non-U.S. regulatory approvals, Applied Materials adds. The parties expect to close the transaction during Applied's fourth fiscal quarter of 2007.