VIENNA (Reuters) - Austrian sensor specialist AMS (AMS.S) succeeded on Friday with its 4.6 billion euro (£3.9 billion) takeover bid for German lighting group Osram (OSRn.DE) at the second attempt, acquiring more than the 55% of shares required.
The Austrian group is best known as a supplier of facial recognition technology to Apple (AAPL.O), while Osram’s lightbulbs were once ubiquitous in European households.
Below are key facts about the two companies:
AMS, formerly austriamicrosystems AG, started in 1981 as a U.S.-Austrian joint venture backed by steelmaker Voestalpine (VOES.VI) which wanted to diversify into semiconductors.
The group, based in the grounds of a castle in Austria’s Styria state, listed in Zurich in 2004.
AMS develops infrared sensor technology used for facial recognition in smartphones and tablets, in autonomous driving, factory automation and devices for computer tomography.
Chief Executive Alexander Everke, an electrical engineer,started his career with Osram’s former parent company Siemens(SIEGn.DE), later working for Infineon (IFXGn.DE) and NXPSemiconductors (NXPI.O) before joining AMS in 2015.
The group generated revenue of 1.4 billion euros ($1.54 billion), operating profit of 128 million and net profit of 10.6 million last year with a workforce of 10,000 people. Net debt stood at 1.24 billion euros at end-June.
It has a market capitalisation of around 3.6 billion euros.
AMS’s main revenue source is optical sensors. Its maincustomer is Apple, which analysts estimate accounts for 40% of group revenue.
AMS is investing heavily in technology for laser-based sensors used in self-driving cars.
The group also offers display solutions such as OLEDs - display sensors that are thinner and more flexible than light-emitting diodes (LEDs) - and is working on sensors capable of scanning surroundings in 3D, so-called world-facing 3D sensors.
It makes audio sensors that cancel noise in wireless earbuds, and has a joint venture with Wise Road Capital for environmental sensors that detect temperature or moisture.
AMS has production sites in Austria, mainly for semiconductor manufacturing, in the Philippines for testing andrelated production steps, and in Singapore for opticalmanufacturing and packaging back-end.
It also has a location in Texas, where it bought light sensor supplier TAOS in 2011.
Osram, headquartered in Munich, was created out of a mergerin 1919 and was for decades part of Siemens (SIEGn.DE) beforebeing spun off and floated in 2013.
The company has sought under Chief Executive Olaf Berlien toreinvent itself as a high-tech company, offering products such as infrared or laser lighting used in self-driving cars, mobile phones, or “smart” buildings and cities.
Soon after taking the helm in 2015, Berlien announced abillion-euro investment in a new factory in Malaysia that wouldproduce LED chips for the general lighting market.
Berlien has built up the automotive division as a play on the development of electric and self-driving vehicles.
The group reported earnings before interest, tax,depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 655 million euros onrevenue of 4.1 billion in 2018 with 24,200 staff. Net debt stoodat 424 million euros at the end of June.
Osram has a market capitalisation of around 3.4 billion euros.
Reporting by Kirsti Knolle in Vienna and Douglas Busvine in London; Editing by Keith Weir and Jan Harvey