UPDATE 2-Axcelis says Sumitomo shelves buyout plan, shares sink

lunedì 15 settembre 2008 20:35

(Recasts; adds details, analyst's comment, updates share movement)

By Purwa Naveen Raman

BANGALORE, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Axcelis Technologies Inc (ACLS.O: Quotazione) said Japan's Sumitomo Heavy Industries (6302.T: Quotazione) has shelved its plans to buy the semiconductor gear maker, sending Axcelis's shares plunging 71 percent to their lowest ever. On Sept. 4, Sumitomo informed that it would not make a definitive acquisition proposal for the company and was placing discussions regarding the deal "on hold," Axcelis said in a regulatory filing.

"Either Sumitomo did not like this at all when they did due diligence or they decided timing wasn't right given the unhealthy state of the semiconductor equipment market," Pacific Crest Securities analyst Weston Twigg said by phone.

Twigg said he did not expect any other company to show interest in Axcelis.

The companies were not immediately available for comments.

Axcelis in March rejected a sweetened $616 million unsolicited takeover bid from Sumitomo, saying it undervalued the company and failed to compensate it for the potential of new products.

The companies signed a confidentiality agreement in June, but negotiations got derailed in August after Axcelis set a deadline for Sumitomo to make a new proposal by the end of the month.

Sumitomo, which has been circling the semiconductor gear maker for about two years, did not submit a new proposal on concerns over the difficulty in restructuring Axcelis and its financial performance.   Continua...