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Bridgepoint in the News

07 July 2014

Bridgepoint sells UK-based specialist manufacturer SPTS Technologies Group for $365 million

Bridgepoint today announces that it has agreed to sell SPTS Technologies Group (“SPTS” or “the Company”), a UK-based leading global manufacturer of etch, deposition and thermal processing equipment for the microelectronic industry, to Orbotech Ltd. for $365 million.

SPTS designs, manufactures, sells and supports advanced capital equipment which, as part of the production process for microchips, is used to deposit and remove materials from semiconducting wafers. Its largest and fastest growing markets are the structurally growing niches of advanced microchip packaging ("Advanced Packaging") and the manufacture of ultra-small mechanical sensors (micro-electro mechanical systems, "MEMS") that are used in smartphones, tablet computers, and game consoles. The Company operates across 19 countries in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific, with manufacturing facilities in Newport, Wales, Allentown, Pennsylvania, and San Jose, California.

In recent years, the business has broadened the application of its technology to Advanced Packaging, the next generation integrated circuit manufacturing technology that allows multiple chips to be stacked and connected in a single package, thereby improving performance and reducing production costs. SPTS is now a leading supplier in this space and well positioned to expand its presence in this high growth market. Benefitting from its IP and technical know-how, SPTS has also secured over 50 new customers during the investment period, further strengthening its market leadership.

In 2014, SPTS is expected to generate revenues of approximately $180 million, gross margin of approximately 48% of its revenues, and EBITDA margin of approximately 25% of its revenues.

Christopher Bell, partner at Bridgepoint, said:

"Leadership in high growth niches as well as the application of its technology to emerging niches in the microchip industry have made SPTS strategically attractive. SPTS is a global business with 69% of system revenues outside Europe. With its new shareholder, the business will be able to deploy like-minded expertise in micro manufacturing to advance further. This has been a successful investment for Bridgepoint and we wish the team continued success in the future."

Asher Levy, Chief Executive Officer of Orbotech Ltd. commented:

"Orbotech identified Advanced Packaging as a strategic and natural extension of its business into an adjacent high growth market, where SPTS is a recognised technology leader. SPTS benefits from established, long-standing partnerships with major industry players. It is a well-known and highly respected brand with deep domain expertise in those segments in which it operates. Acquiring SPTS accelerates our expansion into Advanced Packaging, with multiple manufacturing solutions ideally suited for this growing segment. We look forward to welcoming the SPTS team to Orbotech and capitalising on the best of both companies for continued success."

William Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of SPTS, said:

"SPTS has achieved success by offering multiple technology manufacturing solutions in rapidly growing micro device markets. This transaction combines two high quality businesses and a shared commitment to customer satisfaction in end markets poised for long term growth. The combination of SPTS and Orbotech will create an even stronger business platform with enhanced customer offerings and a robust global footprint."

Kevin Crofton, President and Chief Operating Officer of SPTS, said:

"This is an exceptional opportunity to bring together two proven leaders both operating at the cutting-edge of consumer electronics manufacturing. We share a common vision for our respective markets, including an uncompromising commitment to our customers. Together, we will be a powerhouse of expertise in micro manufacturing, providing a broad solution set of mission-critical capabilities to serve designers and manufacturers across the dynamic electronics industry landscape. We are excited about the opportunity to leverage Orbotech's strong presence in the Pacific as well as its products and technologies".

The sale of SPTS will bring total cash proceeds realised from Bridgepoint portfolios in the year to date to c. €1.2 billion.

Advisers for Bridgepoint included:

M&A: Jefferies and Ernst & Young

Commercial DD: McKinsey

Financial DD: Ernst & Young

Legal: Travers Smith

Environmental DD: ERM

Advisers for Orbotech included:

M&A: J.P. Morgan


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