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Photronics expand IC manufacturing into China

Photronics Singapore Pte., Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Photronics, Inc., has signed an investment agreement with The Administrative Committee of Xiamen Torch Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone (Xiamen Torch) to establish a manufacturing facility in Xiamen, China.
Under the terms of the agreement, Photronics, through its subsidiary, will build and operate a facility to engage in research and development, manufacture and sale of IC photomasks. In return, Xiamen Torch will provide certain investment incentives and support.

"Today's announcement marks a significant step for Photronics as we embark on the next phase of our strategic growth plan by expanding our manufacturing presence into China," said Peter Kirlin, chief executive officer. "China is an important region for manufacturing of advanced electronics components and I'm pleased to announce our intention to build a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in China. Accommodative government policy, investments by multi-national firms, and development of domestic suppliers have established China as the fastest growing semiconductor market. Our facility will focus on high-end logic products, but will be able to serve the wide range of nodes and technologies produced in China. We believe that this investment, given our standing as the market and technology leader among merchant mask producers, should allow us to further extend our market position into China."

Over the next five years, Photronics plans to invest USD 160 million under the agreement; in exchange for certain considerations and subsidies from Xiamen Torch. Construction is planned to begin in 2017 and production should start in late 2018. Photronics has obtained support from an existing, large IC customer and is working to obtain more. Financing for the project will be a mix of transferred capital and cash, with the option of local financing.


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