NEW YORK (AP) -- Aquest Systems Corp. confirmed Thursday that on July 9 it sent Asyst Technologies Inc. an offer to buy the chip manufacturing equipment maker for $6.50 per share in cash.
Asyst said Wednesday that Aquest had expressed interest in possibly buying the company for that price, which, based on Asyst's 50.2 million shares outstanding as of June 4, would mean a total offer of about $326.3 million.
Also Thursday, Aquest and The Gores Group LLC released a letter that responded to some questions Asyst had raised regarding the availability of and sources committed to financing a deal.
The letter said that Aquest is "highly confident in its ability to fund and close" the proposed deal, and that funding would come from investors in Aquest, The Gores Group and possibly other third parties.
Asyst had also said Wednesday that it is trying to better understand Aquest Systems Corp.'s relationship with The Gores Group LLC and Riley Investment Management LLC; the letter from Aquest and The Gores Group did not mention Riley.
Asyst had previously said Riley planned to seek control of Asyst's board at the next annual meeting in order to auction off Asyst. Riley had pointed toward Aquest's founder and Chief Executive Mihir Parikh as a possible participant in the proxy contest, and said separately Wednesday that, "it is incumbent on the board to engage actively and expeditiously in meaningful discussions with Aquest or any other party that may have an interest in acquiring the company."
Privately held Aquest, which is based in Sunnyvale, Calif., is a developer of automation technologies for the semiconductor industry. Parikh also founded Asyst.
In February, Aquest and Gores Group considered buying Asyst for between $5 and $6 per share in cash, after Asyst rejected overtures from Gores Group. The offer from Aquest and Gores Group was withdrawn after Asyst determined it wasn't in the best interest of its shareholders.
Asyst shares fell 2 cents to $5.01 in afternoon trading.