Tokyo Electron Ltd. (8035), the chipmaking
equipment supplier that agreed to be bought by Applied Materials
Inc., will stop making and selling equipment used to make solar
panels at the end of March.
The decision comes amid a weak business environment because
of an oversupply of production equipment, Tokyo Electron said in
a statement today. Tokyo Electron acquired Oerlikon Solar, the
photovoltaics unit of Swiss industrial equipment maker OC
Oerlikon Corp., in 2012 for an enterprise value of 250 million
Swiss francs ($278 million).
“Amid uncertainties of a recovery in the market
environment, we have decided to scale down our business
structure,” the Tokyo-based company said in the statement.
Support for units already delivered will continue.
Tokyo Electron plans to reassign employees in the solar
business to other positions, according to the statement. The
company will consider cutting jobs at the Swiss subsidiary, now
called TEL Solar AG.
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