Veeco turns focus to solar following sale of metrology business to Bruker

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Veeco Instruments has revealed the completion of the sale of its metrology business unit to Bruker, provider of high-performance solutions and scientific instruments for molecular and materials research. The US$229 million cash transaction has been approved by both companies’ boards, and will involve the transfer of Veeco’s global business – including its atomic force microscope (AFM) business in Santa Barbara, CA and its optical industrial metrology (OIM) business in Tucson, AZ – to Bruker, which will combine the new acquisition with its existing Bruker Nano instruments business.

The transaction is expected to be complete in the fourth quarter of 2010, pending regulatory review and adherence to customary closing conditions. The deal will also see Veeco hand over its associated global AFM/OIM field sales and support organization.

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Veeco’s intention is to focus more on its solar, LED and data storage businesses, which will each benefit from the sale of the metrology unit. Aftertax cash proceeds will amount to US$160 million, but further details and terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Citigroup Global Markets Inc. acted as exclusive financial advisor to Veeco for the transaction.

John R. Peeler, Veeco’s CEO, commented: “Following the sale of Metrology, Veeco expects to benefit from greater focus on and investment in our LED & Solar and Data Storage Process Equipment businesses. We believe the sale of Metrology will allow us to accelerate our progress developing new products, gaining share, and aligning with key customers in markets with large growth opportunities, including several “clean tech” markets. The sale is also expected to give us additional financial flexibility to pursue acquisitions and expand customer support for our growing Asia business.”

The Metrology business segment will be accounted for as a “discontinued operation”, effective from August 15th, 2010. The company expects 2010 revenues from continuing operations to reach approximately US$1 billion, about 90% of which will be from the LED and solar business segments.

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