Newport to acquire Micro Robotics Systems

Irvine, Calif. - Newport Corp. announced Jan. 23 that it plans to acquire Micro Robotics Systems Inc. (MRSI, North Billerica, Mass.) for an estimated $55-65 million, which includes a combination of cash, Newport stock and the assumption and conversion of certain MRSI stock options.


Irvine, Calif. - Newport Corp. announced Jan. 23 that it plans to acquire Micro Robotics Systems Inc. (MRSI, North Billerica, Mass.) for an estimated $55-65 million, which includes a combination of cash, Newport stock and the assumption and conversion of certain MRSI stock options. The final purchase price will be determined by Newport's share price when the transaction closes. The transaction, subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in 1Q02.

MRSI is a privately held manufacturer of high precision, fully automated assembly and dispensing systems for the fiber optic communications, microwave and semiconductor equipment markets. MRSI generated sales of approximately $25 million in 2001. Due to a recent slowdown in its end markets, MRSI expects $15-18 million in sales during 2002.

'A key growth strategy of our company has been to expand Newport's product portfolio and services to become a leading single-source supplier of test, measurement and automation solutions to the fiber-optic communications and semiconductor equipment markets,' says Robert Deuster, Newport's chairman and ceo. 'This transaction significantly expands our product offering for die bonding assembly systems and is an excellent fit for our strategic initiatives in 2002 and beyond.

'Newport is the leading supplier of automated fiber attachment systems to the photonics market, and MRSI is widely considered to be the premier designer and manufacturer of highly sophisticated, high precision chip attach, dispensing and bonding systems with specific applicability to fiber-optic and high-speed electronic markets. MRSI's blue-chip customer roster is synergistic with our key customers, and its products are complementary to the automated assembly tools offered through Newport's Fiber-Optics and Photonics Division. The combined product portfolio will allow us to provide a full range of solutions from chip qualification through assembly and testing.'

Neil Srivastava, MRSI's president, adds that, 'The combination of our two companies will result in significantly enhanced value to our customers as we go forward. Newport's global infrastructure, financial strength and technical expertise will enable us to further leverage our existing world-class products to address the advancing technical requirements in the markets we target for growth, including the fiber-optic, microwave and semiconductor industries.'

Mr. Deuster and Mr. Srivastava added that Newport's acquisition fits especially well with a recent trend in which fiber-optic component manufacturers are increasingly seeking to build more integrated automation into their component manufacturing processes.

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