SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Ending perhaps the last chapter in a painful saga, Asyst Technologies Inc. has agreed to sell its entire assets to three companies: Crossing Automation Inc., Murata Machinery Ltd. and the Peer Group.
In the first deal, Asyst has sold its automated material handling systems (AMHS) line to Japanese rival Murata, according to court documents. That deal is worth $110 million, according to the Fabtech Web site.
In the second deal, Crossing Automation has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Asyst's atmospheric technologies. The sale includes Asyst's sorter lines, EFEM (equipment front end module) and RFID products.
And finally, Asyst has sold its connectively software to the Peer Group. After the final approval of these deals, this essentially means that fab-automation pioneer Asyst will no longer exist.
Founded in 1984, Asyst developed products that became the de facto standard in wafer handling in IC manufacturing. Customers include the who's who in the industry: Intel, Toshiba, TSMC and others.
But for some time, Asyst has been in trouble, thanks in part to mismanagement, poor execution, losses, and, of course, the IC downturn.
One company, Aquest, recently attempted to make a hostile bid for Asyst. Fab-automation rival Aquest is headed by Mihir Parikh, president and chief executive, who is the founder of Asyst.
Last October, Asyst and Aquest broke off merger talks after failing to reach an agreement. In July, Aquest sent a letter to Asyst expressing interest in acquiring the company for $6.50 a share. As of Thursday, Asyst's stock was just over 1 cent a share.
Hit hard by the IC downturn, Asyst in April filed for bankruptcy and was looking for a buyer. Asyst (Fremont, Calif.) filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
Now, Asyst has been broken into three pieces and sold. In one deal, Murata signed an asset purchase agreement with Asyst Technologies Japan Holdings Co. Inc. and Asyst Technologies Japan Inc. to purchase all of their assets on June 12.
Asyst Technologies Japan is an AMHS provider. It was formerly called Asyst Shinko Inc., a joint venture between Asyst and Shinko. Asyst recently bought out the venture.