Asyst Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: ASYT) said that it's board has rejected an unsolicited $5-$6 per share buyout approach from The Gores Group and Aquest Systems Corp., because it “undervalued” the company.
Asyst makes automation technology for makers of semiconductors and flat panel displays.
Gores is a private equity firm, while Aquest is a VC-backed provider of semiconductor equipment that has raised around $22 million from Global Catalyst Partners, Menlo Ventures and Walden International.
Asyst Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:ASYT), a leading provider of integrated automation solutions that enhance semiconductor and flat panel display manufacturing productivity, today confirmed that its board of directors previously rejected unsolicited expressions of interest conveyed over the past several months from The Gores Group and Aquest Systems to explore purchasing the company for $5 to $6 per share. Following a thorough review with its financial and legal advisors, the board concluded that these expressions of interest were inadequate, significantly undervalued the company and would not be in the best interests of the company's shareholders. The expressions of interest from The Gores Group and Aquest Systems appear to be an attempt to capitalize on a low point in the semiconductor equipment cycle and a current low market valuation to the detriment of the company's shareholders.
The board considered many factors, including the company's leadership position in its largest served markets, significant investments in new products being developed with direct engagement of customers, and continuing initiatives to reduce manufacturing costs and increase gross margins. The board believes in the value of the company's ongoing strategic and operating initiatives, which is not adequately reflected in the expressions of interest from Gores and Aquest. The board will continue to regularly evaluate opportunities of value to the company and its shareholders.
Merrill Lynch & Co. is acting as financial advisor and Baker & McKenzie, LLP, is acting as legal advisor to the company.
Asyst Technologies, Inc. is a leading provider of integrated automation solutions that enable semiconductor and flat panel display (FPD) manufacturers to increase their manufacturing productivity and protect their investment in materials during the manufacturing process. Encompassing isolation systems, work-in-process materials management, substrate-handling robotics, automated transport and loading systems, and connectivity automation software, Asyst's modular, interoperable solutions allow chip and FPD manufacturers, as well as original equipment manufacturers, to select and employ the value-assured, hands-off manufacturing capabilities that best suit their needs. Asyst's homepage is http://www.asyst.com.