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SMT & Inspection | June 19, 2008

Advantest buys Credence Systems

Semiconductor test equipment manufacturer, Advantest Corporation has signed a contract to acquire Credence Systems GmbH, a European manufacturer of test systems for automotive semiconductors.
The deal expands Advantest's R&D network with a foothold in Europe, and sets the stage for the company to assimilate Credence Systems GmbH's customer base as well as its accumulated experience, analog technologies, and expertise. Credence Systems GmbH is principally engaged in the development and manufacture of automotive semiconductor test equipment.

"Steady expansion is predicted for the automotive semiconductor market, and a number of important manufacturers of these chips are based in Europe. With these companies as our customer base, we aim to gain momentum to expand our share of this market," Toshio Maruyama, President and CEO of Advantest, said in a statement. "Through the creation of an R&D base in Germany, we plan to accelerate our development of automotive modules in close contact with major European customers. The addition of a European R&D center to our R&D network in the United States and Japan will also strengthen our development capabilities for modules for our T2000 test system*. " Maruyama added.

Under the terms of the deal, Advantest (Europe) GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Advantest, will purchase all the shares of Credence Systems GmbH from Credence Europa Limited, a UK-based subsidiary of American test systems manufacturer Credence Systems Corporation. Post-buyout, Advantest will continue to support the Piranha and Falcon test systems currently developed and produced by Credence Systems GmbH.

The transaction is expected to close at the end of August 2008, subject to customary closing conditions including approval from German antitrust authorities.

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