Significantly increased bank facilities agreed with Lloyds TSB demonstrate confidence in IQE's growth prospects
25 January 2008
IQE plc (AIM: IQE, “the Group”), the leading global supplier of advanced wafer products and services to the semiconductor industry, is pleased to announce that it has appointed Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets as its principal banker and has agreed new, significantly increased banking facilities to support IQE’s continued growth.
The new facilities provide funding of up to £15.5 million in the form of a term loan of up to £8.5 million and a working capital facility of up to £7 million. This replaces existing UK loans of £3.7 million and a UK overdraft facility of £4 million, representing additional headroom of almost £8 million to finance growth and working capital.
In addition, the Group retains its overseas working capital facility of £1 million.
Phil Rasmussen, IQE Chief Financial Officer, said:
“The appointment of Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets follows a rigorous assessment of several of the major UK banks to ensure that we have the right partnership as we continue to grow rapidly. We have selected Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets on the basis that its Fast Growth Team has demonstrated an excellent understanding of the needs of a dynamic and rapidly growing business like IQE. Furthermore, given current macro economic conditions, this new funding facility demonstrates the confidence that exists in IQE’s business model, its markets and its management team.”
Andrew Hunter from Lloyds TSB’s Fast Growth Team commented:
“We are delighted to support IQE through this key stage in its development. We view IQE as a high performing business that has established an enviable position within the international compound semiconductor wafer market. The Lloyds TSB Fast Growth team worked closely with colleagues across Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets to provide a flexible funding solution, enabling IQE to take advantage of opportunities for growth.”
Jason Evans, Area Director and Head of Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets for South Wales, added:
“Through careful acquisition, the management of IQE has established a market leading business which is very well placed for continued growth. We are delighted to assist such a dynamic and high profile quoted company with a global HQ based in South Wales”.
NOTE TO EDITORS
IQE is the leading global supplier of advanced semiconductor wafers with products that cover a diverse range of applications, supported by an innovative outsourced foundry services portfolio that allows the Group to provide a 'one stop shop' for the wafer needs of the world's leading semiconductor manufacturers.
IQE uses advanced crystal growth technology (epitaxy) to manufacture and supply bespoke semiconductor wafers ('epi-wafers') to the major chip manufacturing companies, who then use these wafers to make the chips which form the key components of virtually all high technology systems. IQE is unique in being able to supply wafers using all of the leading crystal growth technology platforms.
IQE's products are found in many leading-edge consumer, communication, computing and industrial applications, including a complete range of wafer products for the wireless industry, such as mobile handsets and wireless infrastructure, Wi-Fi, WiMAX, base stations, GPS, and satellite communications; optical communications, optical storage (CD, DVD), laser optical mouse, laser printers & photocopiers, thermal imagers, leading-edge medical products, barcode, high efficiency LEDs and a variety of advanced silicon based systems.
The manufacturers of these chips are increasingly seeking to source wafers from specialist foundries such as IQE in order to reduce overall wafer costs and accelerate time to market.
IQE also provides bespoke R&D services to deliver customised materials for specific applications and offers specialist technical staff to manufacture to specification either at its own facilities or on the customer's own sites. The Group is also able to leverage its global purchasing volumes to reduce the cost of raw materials. In this way IQE's supply services, provide compelling benefits in terms of flexibility and predictability of cost, thereby significantly reducing operating risk.
IQE operates six manufacturing facilities located in Cardiff (two) and Milton Keynes in the UK; in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and Somerset, New Jersey in the USA; and Singapore. The Group also has 11 sales offices located in major economic centres worldwide.