Täby, Sweden and Veldhoven, the Netherlands, June 20, 2001
Micronic Laser Systems AB and ASML Holding NV announced today that they have reached agreement in principle to enter into a strategic alliance to enhance the companies positions as leading suppliers of advanced lithography equipment to the display and semiconductor industry.
In the framework of this alliance, the companies will start a joint development program to develop new tools in the area of lithography applications. Also part of this alliance will be an interest-free convertible loan in the amount of MSEK 320 from ASML to Micronic. The loan has a term of three years and can be converted into one million shares of Micronic upon the first request of ASML. The board of directors of Micronic has decided to call for an extraordinary general shareholders meeting to be held on July 13, 2001. A formal notice to the extraordinary general shareholders meeting will be issued shortly. The purpose of this meeting is to seek authorization to issue the convertible loan.
"For Micronic, it is of strategic importance to partner with ASML, a company that has a strong position in semiconductor lithography systems. We intend to use the new capital to aggressively accelerate our penetration of the semiconductor photomask equipment market. Also we will launch an exploratory development program in direct write applications, for which we see an opportunity in the semiconductor industry's demand for shorter time-to-market of new designs as well as small volume production," said Sven Löfquist, CEO of Micronic.
"ASML recognizes the increasing importance of the photomask in the lithography process. Micronic provides competencies in critical mask technology and this alliance is a natural extension for ASML in its traditional lithography market. We also see a number of other synergies in our respective product development and marketing efforts," said Doug Dunn, CEO of ASML.
About Micronic Laser Systems AB
Micronic Laser Systems AB (Stockholmsbörsen's "Attract 40 list": MICR), is at the forefront in semiconductor and display laser pattern generators for the production of photomasks to the world wide industries. Micronic Laser Systems is a Swedish high-tech company engaged in the development, manufacture and marketing of a series of extremely accurate laser pattern generators for the production of photomasks. The technology involved is known as microlithography. Micronic's systems are used by the world's leading electronics companies in the manufacture of television and computer displays, semiconductor circuits and semiconductor packaging components. Micronic is located in Täby, north of Stockholm and at present has subsidiaries in the United States and Japan and a service office in Taiwan. Micronic's net sales for 2000 amounted to MSEK 704 and the company has 323 employees.
Holding NV ASML, founded in 1984, is leading company in advanced lithography tools, photoresist processing tracks and thermal systems that are essential in the fabrication of integrated circuits. The company is publicly traded on both the Euronext Amsterdam NV and on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol ASML.
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