SUSS MicroTec has announced its decision to relocate its Substrate Bonder division to Germany this year. The division is currently based in Waterbury, Vermont, USA. In the course of the planned restructuring, the research and development, production and product management functions of the Bonder product lines will be moved to the production site in Sternenfels, Germany. At the same time, the North American service and sales activities as well as the applications center will be moved from Waterbury, VT, to Silicon Valley in California.
At the beginning of the year, a state-of-the-art production building was bought in Sternenfels, located in the state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, as part of the HamaTech acquisition. The Substrate Bonder, Coater/Developer and Photomask Equipment product lines are being combined at the Sternenfels site against the backdrop of the planned optimization and simplification of the corporate structure and the goal of reducing the number of development and manufacturing sites from the existing four in January 2010 to two highly efficient sites in Germany for the future. Furthermore, by bundling the Coater and Bonder product lines at one site, the Company will be able to achieve technology and production synergies in the area of temporary bonding and react faster and more flexibly to market demands. In addition to the cost advantages for development and production, the production site in Sternenfels also provides the physical premises necessary to take advantage of the growth potential available in the area of 3D integration.
The move takes into account the space requirements anticipated for the future as well as the increasing demands placed on modern production and cleanroom standards. The alternative would have been a costly expansion of the current facility at the US site in Waterbury, VT. The expected restructuring costs will reach a total in the mid to high single-digit million range and will impact primarily on 2010.
Anticipated annual results are being adjusted against the background of the planned relocation of the Substrate Bonder division. The Company continues to expect sales for the 2010 fiscal year of over € 120 million and a positive free cash flow (before effects of M&A activities already carried out). Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) will however now be slightly negative for the year.