Nanotechnology: Top 5 Deals in 2023


November 21, 2023

Deal 1: IMS Nanofabrication

On September 12th 2023, Intel Corporation disclosed its agreement to divest roughly a 10% share in IMS Nanofabrication (IMS), worth £340.58 million, to Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC). With TSMC’s investment, IMS is valued around $4.3 billion. Intel will maintain majority control over IMS, allowing it to function as an independent subsidiary headed by CEO Dr. Elmar Platzgummer. The deal is anticipated to finalise in the fourth quarter of 2023.

IMS stands as the premier industry front-runner in multi-beam mask writing tools, essential for advancing extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV). This technology is widely embraced in top-tier tech nodes that power intensive computing tasks, including AI and mobile platforms. This investment by TSMC grants IMS heightened autonomy and bolsters trust in its promising future potential. This increased self-reliance positions IMS to hasten its growth and pioneer the ensuing wave of lithography tech advancements, facilitating the industry’s shift towards novel patterning systems like high-numerical-aperture (high-NA) EUV.

Deal 2: Crocus Technology

It was announced on August 8th 2023 that Crocus Technology would be acquired by Allegro Microsystems for $420 million (£325.98 million). The purchase of Crocus will be financed using a mix of cash on hand and a new term loan. Pending routine regulatory clearances and standard closing prerequisites, the deal is anticipated to conclude by the close of the 2023 calendar year.

Allegro stands to benefit from Crocus’s distinctive technology and products, tailored for rapidly expanding areas like e-mobility, clean energy, and automation, all backed by over 200 patents. Forecasts suggest the magnetic sensing market will surpass $5 billion by 2030, with TMR emerging as the quickest expanding sector, nearing a $1 billion market potential by the same year. The anticipated 30% CAGR for TMR, driven primarily by automotive and industrial uses, is projected to outpace the general growth rate of the entire magnetic sensing industry.

Deal 3: NKT Photonics

On June 24th, 2022, Hamamatsu Photonics revealed plans to purchase NKT Photonics, a leading Danish laser and laser equipment component producer, for an estimated EUR 226 million (£199.54 million). While countries like Germany, the UK, and the US have approved the deal, Denmark rejected it on May 2nd, 2023, citing national security concerns. Undeterred, Hamamatsu submitted a fresh application to the Danish Business Authority on July 20th, 2023, aiming for the necessary acquisition clearance. The company has emphasised its commitment to engaging actively with Danish officials to address concerns and facilitate the approval process.

NKT Photonics is known for its lasers that find applications in microscope white light sources, advanced semiconductor device inspection, surgical operations, and quantum computing, among other areas. As Hamamatsu expands its laser segment, the compact and efficient fibre lasers of NKT Photonics are poised to become an integral part of their portfolio.

Deal 4: Aera Therapeutics

On February 16, 2023, Aera Therapeutics raised $193 million (£157.75 million) in Series B venture funding, in a deal led by GV, Lux Capital, and ARCH Venture Partners. Newpath Partners, F-Prime Capital, and Altitude Life Science Ventures also participated in the round. The investment will be channelled towards leveraging its unique delivery platform, aiming to tap into the vast capabilities of genetic medicines across diverse modalities and therapeutic domains.

Aera Therapeutics utilises a unique protein nanoparticle (PNP) genetic medicine delivery system. This platform capitalises on naturally occurring human proteins, sourced from retroelements, which have the ability to self-construct into capsid-like formations. These structures can encapsulate and transport nucleic acid content. By fusing the advantages of a natural, self-forming mechanism with the flexibility of a protein-driven system, this platform holds significant potential in expanding the scope of genetic medicines across various therapeutic modalities and areas of healthcare.

Deal 5: Apton Biosystems

PacBio announced on August 2nd 2023 that it has agreed to buy Apton Biosystems in a deal worth up to $110 million (£85.36 million). Initially, Apton will receive around $85 million, which will be paid with about 6.3 million shares of PacBio stock. If Apton’s technology helps achieve $50 million in sales related to a high-capacity sequencer, they’ll get an extra $25 million in stock, cash, or a mix of both.

Based in Pleasanton, California, Apton specialises in developing Super-Res™ sequencing and single-molecule detection tools mainly for extensive clinical uses like early cancer diagnosis and population sequencing. They’ve innovatively designed optical systems for sequencing, using super-resolution to examine molecules that are positioned closer than a light’s wavelength. With Apton’s Super-Res™ technology, it’s possible to sequence tens of billions of reads in one go, utilising uncomplicated, un-patterned flow cells, which reduces variable costs.

Talent Insight

“The top 2023 nanotechnology deals spotlight a shift towards advanced integration and real-world application in the field. This year’s major transactions reflect a move towards systems that seamlessly unite diverse facets of nanotech. As boundaries in application blur, expertise in super-resolution, genetic medicine delivery, and advanced semiconductors gains prominence. I expect to see a significant rise in demand for specialists in these areas as the nanotechnology domain continues to grow and transform. Professionals who can harmonise pioneering research with real-world application will find themselves at the forefront of this progressing scientific landscape.”

– Tyler Huskins, Advanced Technology Executive Search Specialist

Nanotech Top 5 Deals 2023

Published on 21-11-2023


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