SANTA ANA, CA -- TTM Technologies has agreed to acquire certain manufacturing and intellectual property assets from i3 Electronics.

TTM will pay for the assets with cash on hand, and will move key equipment to its plant in Chippewa Falls, WI. Other financial terms were not disclosed.

Binghamton, NY-based i3 Electronics performs design, fabrication and assembly of printed circuit boards and semiconductor packages. It includes the former IBM Endicott campus, which in 2002 was spun out and became Endicott Interconnect Technologies.

i3's president and chief executive told local media the sale was necessary as the company had lost its largest customer. i3 was facing softened demand and a significant loss in revenue, Jim Matthews said, according to Binghamton.com.

In a statement, TTM said it is acquiring the site in order to strengthen its advanced technology PCB capabilities and IP portfolio for emerging applications in the aerospace and defense end market and high-end commercial customers.

"A core differentiator of the acquired technology is the ability to create very fine lines and spacing, which is becoming an increasing requirement for new programs across defense and commercial end markets. This substrate-like PCB technology permits lines and spacing down to 25 microns with 50 micron drill plated through-holes. The acquired technology is an alternative approach to achieve similar lines and spacing as the modified semi-additive process (“mSAP”) we currently utilize in our mobility business. It differs from mSAP in that it is US-based and used for lower-volume applications such as defense and also for smaller format PCBs used in telecommunication applications."

“We are excited to add i3’s cutting edge technology to TTM’s broad base of PCB expertise in North America for deployment in both our commercial and aerospace and defense end markets,” said Tom Edman, chief executive, TTM. “We believe this transaction will allow us to address key future growth opportunities for advanced applications in the defense and commercial markets with the ultimate goal of providing differentiated technical support and value for our customers.”

The acquired assets will consist of equipment, patents and critical manufacturing intelligence. i3 did not indicate how many workers would be affected by the deal. It will maintain a small flex and glass panel operation, and will shift some workers to its assembly plant in Binghamton.

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