Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said Wednesday it has given a green light to Dutch semiconductor equipment maker ASML Holding NV's acquisition of Taiwanese counterpart Hermes Microvision Inc.
The FTC said it approved the acquisition because it was unlikely to hurt market competition.
The commission said the two companies have their own niche products and believed the deal could be expected to help ASML diversify its product line.
ASML specializes in the production of lithography systems for use by semiconductor manufacturers, while pattern verification systems are Hermes Microvision's strength, and the two products are used in different semiconductor production processes.
Having gotten the nod from the FTC, the deal now requires regulatory approval from Taiwan's Investment Commission and authorities in the United States, South Korea and Singapore.
Hermes Microvision said it still expected the acquisition to be finalized by the end of the fourth quarter this year. Once the deal is completed, Hermes Microvision will be delisted from Taiwan's over-the-counter market.
On Wednesday, shares of Hermes Microvision rose 0.37 percent to close at NT$1,355.00 (US$42.61), remaining the second most expensive stock on Taiwan's equity market.
The most expensive stock is smartphone camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co. (???), which ended down 0.14 percent at NT$3,635.00 on Taiwan's main stock exchange.
Hermes Microvision announced in June that ASML would acquire its outstanding shares for NT$100 billion, or NT$1,410 per share, in cash.
Hermes-Epitek Corp. (HEC,, the major shareholder of Hermes Mircovision, HEC affiliates, and some Hermes Microvision executives, which currently own a combined 48 percent stake in Hermes Microvision, have agreed to support the acquisition deal.
On Aug. 3, Hermes Microvision held a special general meeting at which its shareholders also voted to support the deal.
As part of the deal, HEC and select Hermes Microvision executives agreed to use of part of the proceeds to acquire new ASML shares as a sign of confidence in the merger.
Source: Focus Taiwan