Scientech Corp to expand capacity ahead of IPO

STRONG START::The firm plans to invest NT$120 million to expand capacity by 10 percent as it prepares for its March 12 IPO, driven by demand for advanced wafer processes

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Feb 20, 2013 - Page 13

Semiconductor equipment maker Scientech Corp (辛耘) yesterday said it planned to invest NT$120 million (US$4.06 million) next quarter to expand its monthly capacity by about 10 percent to meet growing customer demand.

The investment would boost the company’s capacity to between 115,000 and 120,000 units of 12-inch renewable test wafers a month, from 100,000 wafers, the company said.

Scientech counts the world’s top contract chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), as its biggest client.

The company, based in Taipei, said it plans to launch an initial public offering (IPO) on the Taiwan Stock Exchange on March 12. Each share is tentatively priced at NT$32, the company said.

Scientech is currently the only wafer wet-processing and cleaning equipment maker and it is also the largest 12-inch test wafer renewing service provider in Taiwan, with a 40 percent market share, Scientech chairman Hsieh Hung-liang (謝宏亮) told investors at an investors’ conference yesterday.

Driven by strong demand for advanced wafer processes and increasing demand for test wafer renewal services, Scientech forecast that sales of homemade wafer wet-processing machinery and services for renewing test wafers would together account for 45 percent this year, up from 40 percent last year, Scientech chief executive officer Hsu Ming-chi (許明棋) said.

On the back of soaring global demand for mobile devices, Scientech forecast that revenue would hit a record high this year on the back of increasing demand for its wet-processing and cleaning equipment manufacturing business.

“Scientech is ready to meet robust demand for wafer processing in the new year. With high-end technology in hand, and local branches in China and major markets, we look forward to seeing sales growth this year,” Hsu said.

For the whole year, Scientech plans to increase capital expenditure to NT$150 million to upgrade its assembly lines to meet growing demand for renewable test wafers from its clients, Hsu said.

The company also plans to increase spending this year on the research and development of 28 nanometer processes, the most advanced technology for manufacturing precise electronic components, Hsu added.

Scientech said more than 50 percent of the world’s top 20 semiconductor companies were its clients, among which TSMC accounted for 70 percent of the company’s sales last year.

The company generated 50 percent of its revenue from selling ready-made semiconductor or photoelectronic manufacturing equipment last year.

The company also supplies wafer wet-processing machinery to nearly 80 percent of the leading LED firms in the world, Hsu added.

During the first three quarters of last year, Scientech’s net profits soared to nearly NT$1 billion, or NT$1.35 per share, compared with NT$79.02 million, or NT$1.21 per share, in 2011.