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Oerlikon sells two semiconductor units

Swiss technology group Oerlikon said it was selling two of its semiconductor businesses as it focuses its strategy on growth areas, such as its solar unit.

The group will sell its Esec business unit to Dutch company BE Semiconductor Industries for an undisclosed amount, reducing its exposure to the cyclical semiconductor market.

“The sale of Oerlikon Esec was motivated by strategic considerations. The backend semiconductor business does not provide any synergies with the group's core technological competences in the coating and thin-film sector,” Oerlikon said in a statement.

The transaction is expected to close in April subject to closing conditions and approvals.

Oerlikon, which is controlled by Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, also said it expected a management buyout of the Etch business from Oerlikon Systems.

Oerlikon, which makes a range of products from coatings used in Formula One racing cars to machines used to make solar cells, announced a second round of job cuts last week after issuing a string of profit warnings in 2008 as the economic downturn weighs on its key textile unit.