Air Liquide Electronics US LP has signed an agreement to purchase the major part of the assets of the Chemical Management Division of Edwards Vacuum Inc, with the acquisition expected to close before the end of June 2008, pending regulatory approval and closing conditions.

Edwards’ Chemical Management Division, a major player in chemical equipment, is focused on designing, manufacturing, and selling chemical and slurry dispensing equipment, installations and services to leading semiconductors as well as Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) worldwide.

With production based in Chanhassen, Minnesota, in the US, the company employs around 120 people (including 20% in Asia and Europe) and has annual sales of approximately $50m. It’s thought that the acquisition will complement Air Liquide Electronics’ position in the high purity fluid equipment and installation sector, particularly in the US and Asia. It will also reaffirm the subsidiary company’s strategy to be a global supplier to the semiconductor, flat panel display and photovoltaics industries around the world.

Christophe Fontaine, Vice-President Electronics for Air Liquide Group, said, “This acquisition will bring key complements to our current portfolio, especially allowing us to cover the whole equipment and installation spectrum for ultra-pure fluids with the key players of the electronics industry.”

Nigel Hunton, CEO of Edwards, commented, “I’m very happy to continue the strategic re-alignment of Edwards to focus on its core vacuum equipment and abatement business. In reaching an agreement with Air Liquide for our Chemical Management Division, we ensure a smooth transition of ownership for the benefit of our employees and customers.”

Edwards is a leading global supplier of integrated vacuum and abatement solutions for the manufacture of semiconductors, flat panel displays, LEDs and solar cells and a leader in vacuum technology for industrial, scientific, process and R&D applications.

Air Liquide Electronics US LP is the subsidiary of American Air Liquide Holdings, Inc. responsible for serving the semiconductor industry in the US.