Applied Materials Cuts Stake In Joint Venture

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- Chip manufacturing equipment maker Applied Materials Inc. and semiconductor fabrication equipment supplier Dainippon Screen Mfg Co. said Tuesday that they have agreed to revise the ownership structure of their joint venture company.

Under the new agreement, Dainippon will own 81 percent of Sokudo Co. and operate it as a subsidiary, while Applied Materials' interest will be reduced to 19 percent from 48 percent.

The companies said the new structure will more accurately reflect the continuing contributions from both stakeholders.

In addition, the companies said that as a result of the significantly weakened semiconductor equipment market, Sokudo's global sales and service operations will be streamlined to improve efficiency.

Applied Materials will continue to support Sokudo with management, customer support, and product development. The company is also working with Sokudo and Dainippon at its Maydan Technology Center and expects that alliance to provide further opportunities for future collaboration.

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