Oxford Instruments acquires Technology & Devices International Inc

Thursday 10th April 2008
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As part of the strategy of CEO Jonathan Flint to acquire complementary technologies and double the size of the group over five years, UK-based Oxford Instruments plc has acquired of Technologies and Devices International Inc (TDI).The company develops and manufactures nitride materials (including GaN, AlN, AlGaN, InN and InGaN) using it hydride vapour phase epitaxy (HVPE) technology and processes, mainly for applications in solid-state lighting, short-wavelength optoelectronics and RF power electronics.

Oxford Instruments said it will pay $1m in cash initially, as well as a cash earn out payable in 2012, based on the sales of tools in the preceding financial year. Oxford will also assume TDI's debts of $2.2m with the total being up  to $6m  TDI, which makes components for lighting devices, reported a pre-tax loss of $0.8m for the year to 30 June 2007. It is expected to continue making losses in the first year following Oxford Instrument's takeover but the acquisition is expected to be earnings enhancing in the second year.

“This acquisition is part of our on-going strategy to deliver added value to our current and future high-brightness LED (HB-LED) customers and gives us the opportunity to supply new markets,” says Andy Matthews,MD  of Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology (OIPT) of Yatton, UK, which currently supplies its Plasmalab range of etch and deposition tools to leading HB-LED makers.

The addition of HVPE opens up the opportunity to deliver products to the epitaxy sector of the market, says OIPT. TDI’s HVPE technology offers HB-LED makers lower manufacturing costs and improved output compared to conventional metal organic chemical vapour deposition (MOCVD) techniques, it is claimed.

To assure continuity of supply to existing customers of HVPE-grown III-nitride materials, TDI will remain at its present facility in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA, with president Tatiana Dmitriev and head of R&D Dr Alexander Usikov continuing to lead the team. Matthews adds that OIPT intends to work with the TDI team to develop the HVPE process further.

“We are very happy to be part of the Oxford Instruments group of companies to further develop III-nitrides HVPE and carry on with the innovative work that my father, Vladimir, and his team have been conducting over the past 10 years,” says Tatiana Dmitriev.

After developing HVPE technology for UV and visible LEDs and power electronic devices at Russia’s Ioffe Institute, Vladimir Dmitriev founded TDI in 1997 and was president and CEO until his untimely death from a heart attack on 6 January at the age of 52. He leaves a company that, last November, was awarded the latest in a series of patents covering HVPE production equipment for manufacturing low-defect nitride materials (particularly bulk GaN and AlGaN) substrates, and last week, launched commercial 3-inch diameter, thick GaN wafers.

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