Amtech Exits Solar to Focus on Semiconductors and Silicon Carbide

January 29, 2020 by Paul Shepard

Amtech Systems, Inc., a manufacturer of capital equipment, including thermal processing and wafer polishing, and related consumables used in fabricating semiconductor devices, such as silicon carbide (SiC) and silicon power chips, electronic assemblies and light-emitting diodes (LEDs), today announced the sale of its shares of Tempress Group Holding B.V. (Tempress) for nominal consideration to Stichting Continuiteit Tempress, an independent foundation that was formed under Dutch law, effective January 22, 2020.

In connection with this sale transaction, Amtech agreed to provide a term loan to Tempress in the principal sum of $2,250,000, to be used to fund Tempress' working capital requirements and to facilitate the restructuring of Tempress' operations. The loan contains repayment provisions specifying amounts due and payable upon certain future events, including the sale of the equity or a material portion of the assets of Tempress in a future transaction.

“We expect to record a significant pre-tax loss and tax benefit on deconsolidation, as part of our fiscal Q2 financial statements,” stated Ms. Lisa Gibbs, Chief Financial Officer of Amtech.

"For nearly one year, Amtech has undergone a robust process to sell Tempress. We were disappointed with the offers that emerged, as the terms were not favorable to us and most required a significant cash infusion from Amtech. By selling Tempress to a Dutch Foundation, we have established the parameters to give Tempress time to restructure and be sold in the future. We believe this approach is in the best interest of Amtech and our shareholders,” Gibbs added.

Mr. J.S. Whang, Executive Chairman of Amtech, further commented, "With solar fully behind us, we are making changes to our executive team that will take us into the next phase of Amtech's future with a highly focused effort. I am excited to announce the promotion of Michael Whang to Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. As Chief Operating Officer and in his prior roles, Michael has overseen our U.S. operations for many years and has also interacted with our investors. He has in-depth knowledge of the power semiconductor and SiC markets we serve, and he was instrumental in developing our power semiconductor and SiC strategic growth plan, which is the future of Amtech.

“We are also announcing the retirement of Robert Hass, 70, Executive Vice President. Robert served Amtech faithfully for 27 years. I am thankful for Robert's dedication and contribution during his years of service and wish him the best in his retirement. I will continue in my capacity as Executive Chairman, pursuing inorganic growth opportunities and providing oversight of our business,” Mr. J.S. Whang concluded.

Mr. Michael Whang, Chief Executive Officer of Amtech, commented, "It is with great excitement and energy that I accept this new role within Amtech. I want to thank those that laid the foundation for Amtech's new beginning. With the completion of our solar divestiture, we can now focus our full and diligent attention on our semiconductor and silicon carbide businesses and the growth opportunities they present. Our strategic plan includes profitable revenue growth in the semi industry upcycle projected to occur in the second half of this year, new product development, investing in operational efficiency, and the pursuit of very select acquisition opportunities. We have an exciting future and the dedication that will provide increased value for all stakeholders in the coming years."