REUTERS: atc.Semiconductor equipment maker MKS Instruments Inc has approached Atotech Ltd, a specialty chemicals group that has a market value of US$4.7 billion, with an acquisition offer, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
The potential combination would expand MKS's offerings in chip manufacturing through the addition of Atotech's plating chemicals. It would come a few months after Atotech was floated on the stock market by its private equity owner Carlyle Group Inc.
There is no certainty that Atotech will engage in negotiations with MKS or that any deal will be reached, the sources said, requesting anonymity because the matter is confidential. Details of the offer could not be learned.
Spokespeople for MKS and Carlyle both declined to comment, while Atotech did not respond to a request for comment.
Based in Berlin, Atotech's offerings are used in the manufacturing of smartphones, as well as for automotive, heavy machinery and household appliances. Its shares are up roughly 40per cent since Carlyle took the company public in February.
MKS is an Andover, Massachusetts-based manufacturer of instruments and systems used in the semiconductor, industrial technologies and life and health sciences industries. It has a market capitalization of US$10 billion.
MKS made a US$6 billion offer in February for laser maker Coherent Inc. It lost out to rival II-VI Inc, which submitted a US$7 billion bid for Coherent.
MKS considers acquisitions "core" to its strategy, having carried out 22 such deals, including the US$1 billion takeover of ESI Acquisition in 2019, according to an investor presentation posted on its website last month.
(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis and Krystal Hu in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler)