Samsung invested in 2012 to help develop chip techology
Samsung Electronics Co. is selling about half of its stake in chip-equipment supplier ASML Holding NV in a private placement valued at about 606 million euros ($681 million).
The South Korean maker of semiconductors, phones and televisions will sell about 6.3 million shares in ASML, according to terms of the transaction obtained by Bloomberg News. The sale, expected to be completed on Sept. 12, amounts to about 1.45 percent of ASML, based on Bloomberg data. A European unit of Samsung owns 2.9 percent of ASML, according to the term sheet.
The sale is taking place as ASML introduces a new generation of chipmaking systems, called extreme ultraviolet lithography, that took longer to develop than industry forecasts. Samsung agreed to buy about 3 percent of ASML in 2012 to help speed its research and secure access to the technology. With two other ASML customers, Intel Corp. and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., they invested about $1.6 billion to speed ASML’s research and paid close to $5 billion for 23 percent of the company. TSMC sold its stake in 2015.
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Lithography machines made by ASML use concentrated light rays to burn lines into layers of materials deposited on silicon, a crucial step in creating transistors. EUV promises to enable chipmakers to produce smaller semiconductors while increasing the capacity and speed for devices such as handsets and tablets. The Korea Times reported in May that Samsung would purchase ASML’s latest chipmaking machinery based on EUV.
ASML, Europe’s largest supplier of chipmaking equipment, was little changed at 96.23 euros in Amsterdam on Wednesday. The shares have advanced 17 percent this year.