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Akoustis Technologies Completes Strategic Acquisition of New York Wafer Manufacturing Facility and Operation

Charlotte, N.C., June 27, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Akoustis Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKTS) (“Akoustis” or the “Company”), a manufacturer of patented single-crystal BulkONE® bulk acoustic wave (BAW) high-band RF filters for mobile and other wireless applications, announced today it has completed the acquisition of assets from the Research Foundation for the State University of New York (RF-SUNY) and Fuller Road Management Corporation (FRMC), an affiliate of RF-SUNY.

June 26, 2017


June 26, 2017


The assets acquired include STC-MEMS, a semiconductor wafer manufacturing operation and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) business with associated 150-mm wafer manufacturing tools, as well as real estate associated with the 120,000 square foot facility located in Canandaigua, New York.

In order to support and motivate Akoustis’ expansion into Upstate New York, Empire State Development (“ESD”) has offered the Company up to $8 million in performance-based incentives under the Excelsior Jobs Program.

Akoustis paid $2.75 million in cash at closing, plus conventional closing costs including a $96k net inventory adjustment, to RF-SUNY and FRMC to acquire all of the following:

  • 120,000 sq. ft. commercial wafer manufacturing facility located in Canandaigua, NY, which includes Class 100/Class 1000 cleanroom space (“NY Facility”).
  • 57-acres of real property associated with the NY Facility.
  • 150-mm MEMS wafer fab business, including all semiconductor manufacturing tools.
  • Department of Defense (DoD) Category 1A Trusted Foundry accreditation for MEMS processing, packaging and assembly, the transfer of which to Akoustis is in-process.
  • Two existing leasehold tenants with recently-extended, multi-year leases.

Jeffrey Shealy, CEO of Akoustis, commented “This acquisition is an enormous win for our shareholders and its significance cannot be over-stated. It immediately provides a step-function improvement in our ability to design and manufacture our patented BAW RF filters and will accelerate our timeline into commercial production.”

The Company is currently pursuing the required security credentials needed to transfer the existing DoD Category 1A Trusted Foundry accreditation for MEMS processing, packaging and module assembly. In order to expedite the transfer of the Trusted Foundry accreditation, Akoustis has received support from U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer in a letter to the United States Secretary of Defense, General James Mattis.

New York Senator Charles Schumer commented, “Completing the successful transfer of the Defense Department’s Trusted Foundry accreditation is a win-win to enable Akoustis Technologies to grow new jobs while maintaining a trusted supply-chain of locally-produced components needed by the Defense Department.”

The acquisition allows Akoustis to internalize manufacturing providing substantial capacity and control of its wafer supply chain for single crystal BAW RF filters. Akoustis plans to utilize the NY Facility to consolidate all aspects of wafer manufacturing for its disruptive and patented high-band RF filters targeting the multi-billion mobile and other wireless markets. The consolidation of the Company’s supply chain into the NY Facility will reduce wafer cycle time for its RF filter products and greatly enhance the Company’s ability to service customers. Shorter wafer cycle time reduces time-to-market providing the Company the opportunity to increase the number of customer engagements.

Dr. Art Geiss, Co-Chairman of Akoustis, stated, “Over the past 90 days, our management and Board have had the opportunity to engage with the employees at STC-MEMS and we could not be more impressed with their professionalism, dedication and expertise. The team we have transitioned from STC-MEMS to Akoustis is extremely valuable and provides a critical component to expanding our manufacturing center-of-excellence in New York State.”

After a detailed review of STC-MEMS’ customer programs, Akoustis plans to transition up to $1.5 million of existing MEMS revenue in FY2018.

Akoustis is pioneering next-generation material science to address the market requirements for improved RF filters - targeting higher bandwidth, higher operating frequencies and higher output power compared to incumbent polycrystalline BAW technology deployed today. Superior performance is driven by the significant advances of high-purity, single-crystal piezoelectric materials and the resonator-filter process technology. The advanced material properties drive electro-mechanical coupling, which translates to wide filter bandwidth. High-band RF filters are achieved by leveraging the Company’s high-sound velocity, single-crystal piezoelectric materials. These single-crystal piezoelectric materials offer high-thermal conductivity along the path of heat flow, enabling high-power handling capability of the RF filter.

About Akoustis Technologies, Inc.

Akoustis® (http://www.akoustis.com) is a high-tech RF filter solutions company that designs and manufactures its unique, patented BulkONE® technology to produce single-crystal bulk acoustic wave (BAW) RF filters for mobile and other wireless markets, which facilitate signal acquisition and accelerate band performance between the antenna and digital back end. Its BulkONE® technology will service the fast growing multi-billion dollar market of device OEMs, network providers, and consumers to diminish Front End phone heat, battery drain and signal loss -- all considered to be directly related to current RF polycrystalline filter technologies' limitations. Akoustis’ capital-efficient business model leverages new and existing investments in manufacturing infrastructure within the semiconductor industry. The Company owns and operates a 120,000 sq. ft. commercial wafer manufacturing facility located in Canandaigua, NY, which includes a state-of-the-art class 100/class 1000 cleanroom facility tooled for 150-mm diameter wafer manufacturing. Akoustis is headquartered in the Piedmont technology corridor between Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina. Akoustis operates an ISO-9001 Quality Management System certified for the design, development, fabrication and packaging of RF filter MEMS and semiconductor devices.

About Trusted Foundry

The Trusted Foundry Program was initiated in 2004 to ensure mission-critical national defense systems have access to leading-edge integrated circuits (ICs) from secure, domestic sources. Defense Microelectronics Activity (DMEA) is the program manager for the Department of Defense (DoD) and the program provides a cost-effective means to assure the integrity and confidentiality of integrated circuits during design and manufacturing while providing the U.S. Government with access to leading edge microelectronics technologies for both Trusted and non-sensitive applications. The program includes foundry capability plus a full-range of microelectronics services from design through prototyping, packaging and assembly, photomask manufacturing and aggregation.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this press release that are not descriptions of historical facts are forward-looking statements, which are based on management’s current expectations and assumptions and are subject to risks and uncertainties. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology, including “anticipates,” “believes,” “can,” “continue,” “could,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” “plans,” “potential,” “predicts,” “should,” “will,” “would” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those currently anticipated include, without limitation,

  • risks relating to the results of our research and development activities, including uncertainties relating to semiconductor process manufacturing;
  • the early stage of our BulkONE® technology presently under development;
  • our need for substantial additional funds in order to continue our operations and the uncertainty of whether we will be able to obtain the funding we need;
  • our ability to retain or hire key scientific, engineering or management personnel; our ability to protect our intellectual property rights that are valuable to our business, including patent and other intellectual property rights;
  • our dependence on third-party manufacturers, suppliers, research organizations, testing laboratories and other potential collaborators;
  • our acquisition of STC-MEMS could disrupt our business, may not be successfully integrated, and we may not be able to operate it profitably or realize the benefits of the acquired business within expected timeframes or at all;
  • our ongoing attempts to transfer the Trusted Foundry accreditation from STC-MEMS to Akoustis may be delayed for various reasons or may never occur;
  • our ability to successfully market and sell our technologies;
  • the size and growth of the potential markets for any of our technologies, and the rate and degree of market acceptance of any of our technologies;
  • competition in our industry; and
  • regulatory developments in the U.S. and foreign countries.

In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking statements regarding future events and circumstances discussed in this press release may not occur, and actual results could differ materially and adversely from those anticipated or implied in the forward-looking statements. You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. The forward-looking statements included in this presentation speak only as of the date hereof, and, except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update publicly or privately any forward-looking statements for any reason after the date of this presentation to conform these statements to actual results or to changes in our expectations. The materials do not constitute an offer to sell, or the solicitation of any offer to buy, any securities of Akoustis, or any other entity whatsoever. Any representation to the contrary by any party should be ignored.

Akoustis Contact Information:

COMPANY:
Dave Aichele
Akoustis Technologies, Inc.
VP of Business Development
704-997-5735, ext. 106
daichele@akoustis.com

INVESTORS:

The Del Mar Consulting Group, Inc.

Robert B. Prag, President

858-794-9500

bprag@delmarconsulting.com


Source:Akoustis, Inc.