Status: Clearance

Acquirer: Naura Technology Group Co., Ltd. (China)

Acquired: Akrion Systems LLC (US)

Value: Approximately US$15 million

Industry: Semiconductors

On January 16, 2018, Akrion Systems, LLC, a Pennsylvania based supplier “of wet-processing systems providing surface preparation for the microelectronic, photovoltaic and display industries,” announced that it has completed its asset sale, originally announced on August 8, 2017, to NAURA Akrion Inc., a newly formed subsidiary of NAURA Technology Group Co., Ltd. (formerly Beijing NAURA Microelectronics Equipment Co. Ltd.), a Beijing based semiconductor equipment company.

Naura Technology Group produces an array of equipment used in semiconductor manufacturing, including advanced packaging and etching equipment, chemical vapor deposition (CVD) equipment, and custom-made compound semiconductor etching machines, cleaning systems and horizontal diffusion / oxidation systems to process advanced compound semiconductors (such as InP, GaAs, GaN, etc.) (See Naura Technology Group website, Products and Services web page.) Naura Technology Group listed four state-owned entities among its top 10 shareholders for the third quarter of 2017, the last reporting available, including the National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund Co., Ltd. (See Naura Technology Group website, Investor Relations web page.) Together, these state-owned entities held over 50% in Naura. (Id.)

Akrion Systems primarily makes wet stations used for cleaning processing equipment, and suitable for etching and stripping applications.  These wet stations are used on silicon wafers by integrated circuit, wafer, microelectronic mechanical systems (MEMS), and solar cell manufacturer customers. (Id.) Akrion Systems also has a line of packaging equipment for semiconductor products according to it website. (See id.) Wafers need to be cleaned during processing to remove any impurities or repair damage to the wafer or substrate. (See Wikipedia, Wafer (electronics): Cleaning, testuring and etching, visited Jan. 18, 2018.) According to another company offering cleaning process equipment, “[t]he chemistry used in standard wafer cleaning has remained largely unchanged during the last 30 years.” (Modutex Corp. website, Wafer Cleaning Process web page.)

On January 18, 2018, various news outlets quoted an attorney for Naura Technology Group as stating that the deal received CFIUS clearance after the full investigation period. (See, e.g., Reuters, U.S. clears Chinese acquisition in rare move, Jan. 18, 2018.)