Aussie company to acquire US laser diode production facility
Australian semiconductor developer BluGlass Limited has reached agreement to acquire a commercial Silicon Valley laser diode production facility lease and manufacturing equipment for just USD 2.5 million.
BluGlass says in a press release that it aims to fast-track the it growth strategy via the acquisition, significantly increasing its laser diode manufacturing capacity and also bring forward higher-value product development timelines.
To fund the acquisition – and ongoing operation of the production facility – BluGlass has secured AUD 3.4 million (USD 2.55 million) via a placement to new and existing investors. The company is also looking to raise up to a further AUD 7.5 million (USD 5.63 million).
“We plan to take advantage of a unique opportunity, to acquire a full-suite commercial laser diode fab for a fraction of the circa USD 40 million it would cost us to build today. The acquisition aligns and accelerates our longer-term growth plans, bringing core fabrication processes in-house to eliminate supply chain variability and improve the quality and consistency of our laser diodes. Importantly, it provides us with greater control over development roadmaps, enabling us to launch higher-value products sooner,” says BluGlass’ President Jim Haden in a press release.
The facility in question is located in Fremont, California and will provide the company with 19,000 square feet of space. It is worth mentioning that this is a purpose-built laser diode manufacturing facility.
Besides the USD 2.5 million investment to get their hands on the facility, BluGlass says it will invest an additional AUD 3.5 million to adapt the facility for GaN laser diode production, USD 2.5 million to add advanced manufacturing capabilities and also USD 2.5 million on operational expenditure and talent hire.
The president continues to say that in addition to more than quadrupling the company’s development, manufacturing turns and wafer capacity, having their own fab will enable the company to halve production costs. This means that the acquired fab has the potential to bring forward positive cashflows to 2024/2025.
“It triples our revenue generation capacity, and allows us to execute on our strategic vision of becoming the industry’s easiest- to-use laser light by offering the most flexible and agile product development and manufacturing. As one of just four end-to-end gallium nitride laser diode manufacturers globally, we have a significant opportunity to build share within a fast-growing market expected to reach USD 2.5 billion by 20251,” Mr. Haden says in the press release.
With the acquisition the company aims to speed up its transition from an R&D company to a commercial provider of GaN laser diodes. A Silicon Valley-based fab also increases BluGlass’ access to skilled semiconductor and GaN talent.