Epistar merges with two Taiwan-based LED chip makers

Further consolidation in Taiwan's LED industry as Epistar merges with Epitech Technology and Highlink Technology.

Consolidation continues among Taiwan's LED suppliers. Last year, Epistar merged with United Epitaxy Company (UEC), creating the biggest LED chip maker in Taiwan (see Taiwanese LED makers Epistar and UEC to merge (Aug 2005)).

Also in 2005, two smaller companies, Epitech and South Epitaxy, also went through a merger.

Now, Epistar has announced that it is to merge with both Epitech and Highlink Technology. Epistar and Epitech both produce GaN-based and AlGaInP-based LED chips, while Highlink is a specialized producer of GaN-based devices. Epitech and Highlink together have a huge capacity for blue and green InGaN-based chips.

Epistar says that the merger will "further solidify its leading position in AlGaInP LED worldwide, and will make Epistar one of the top five InGaN LED suppliers in the world."

Download the Epistar press release (PDF, 80 KB)

According to the Digitimes website, the three companies have a huge capacity for the growth of epitaxial LED wafers, from which chips are made. Epistar, Epitech and Highlink have around 80, 60 and 20 MOCVD epitaxial systems, respectively.

In terms of revenue, Epistar had sales of NT$2,962 million ($89 million) for the first half of 2006, with profits of NT617 million. Sales for Epitech and Highlink were $38 million and $9 million, respectively.

Charles Chen, president of Epistar, described the company as a first-tier HB-LED supplier in the global upstream LED industry, and said that the merger will enable Epistar to further enhance its international competitiveness. The company will have more than 800 patents in total.

Both Epitech and Highlink are affiliates of United Microelectronics Corp (UMC), one of Taiwan's giant foundries for mainstream silicon semiconductor products.

The companies says that their respective sales channels do not overlap, effectively creating a huge pool of customers for the consolidated Epistar.

Stan Hung, chairman of Epitech, said, "Combining the production capacity of the three companies, the new Epistar will have the complete resources to satisfy the fast-growing market demand including handsets, small and medium size LCD backlight, notebook PC, LCD monitor and TV, automotive, outdoor displays and many new lighting fields."

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