Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. (“THL”), a premier private equity firm investing in growth companies, today announced a definitive agreement with Brooks Automation, Inc. (“Brooks”) to acquire its Semiconductor Solutions Group business (or “automation business”) in a transaction valued at $3 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of calendar year 2022 upon satisfaction of customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
This agreement will fulfill Brooks’ intention to separate its business into two independent companies, a highly innovative automation technology company with significant expertise in semiconductors and meaningful white space to expand into multi-market automation, and a pure play life sciences company, which will remain public and will adopt a new name prior to closing. The automation business, which will retain the Brooks Automation name (“Brooks Automation”), reported approximately $613 million in revenue in the last twelve months ended June 30, 2021.
Jim Carlisle, Managing Director and Head of THL’s Automation Fund, said: “THL remains focused on investing behind automation leaders, as underscored by the closing of our Automation Fund in 2020, and working with management to accelerate growth. We welcome Brooks Automation into our family of dynamic and innovative automation solution providers, and we look forward to partnering with the talented team at Brooks Automation to unlock new growth opportunities.”
“We are excited to be joining forces with THL, with whom we share a vision for the future of our business,” said David Jarzynka, President of Brooks Automation. “We are proud of the leadership position we’ve established in our industry, and THL’s resources and automation expertise will further strengthen our platform as we enter our next phase of growth.”
The era of 5G, Industrial Internet of Things (“IoT”), autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence is expected to drive semiconductor industry revenue to approximately $1 trillion by 2030, up from approximately $450 billion today. As a result, semiconductor manufacturers are investing heavily in new automation and robotics equipment to maximize production capacity.
Michael Kaczmarek, Managing Director at THL, commented: “As the number one player in vacuum robot automation and contamination control solutions, Brooks Automation is a natural fit for our portfolio of market-leading automation platform companies. We look forward to working with Brooks Automation to increase investment, enhance its technology leadership position and further expand its best-in-class product portfolio.”
“We are proud of the highly innovative automation business we have built and are confident it will reach new heights under THL’s ownership,” Brooks President & CEO Steve Schwartz added. “The talented Brooks Automation team will be well-positioned to extend its competitive advantage in partnership with THL’s commitment and automation expertise.”
Through its ninth flagship fund and its dedicated automation fund, THL leads a group of investors with global reach, significant semiconductor experience and deep automation expertise.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as legal adviser and PricewaterhouseCoopers acted as accounting advisor to THL.
About Thomas H. Lee Partners
Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. (“THL”) is a premier private equity firm investing in middle market growth companies exclusively in three sectors: Financial Services, Healthcare and Technology & Business Solutions. THL couples deep sector expertise with dedicated internal operating resources to transform and build great companies of lasting value in partnership with management. The Firm’s domain expertise and resources help to build great companies with an aim to accelerate growth, improve operations and drive long-term sustainable value. Since 1974, THL has raised more than $30 billion of equity capital, invested in over 160 companies and completed more than 500 add-on acquisitions representing an aggregate enterprise value at acquisition of over $210 billion. THL invests in automation companies through its flagship private equity fund and a dedicated automation fund. For more information, please visit www.thl.com.
About Brooks Automation
Brooks (Nasdaq: BRKS) operates two global, market-leading businesses, Life Sciences and Semiconductor Solutions, each with its own distinct area of focus and expertise. The Life Sciences business provides a full suite of reliable cold-chain sample management solutions and genomic services across areas such as drug development, clinical research and advanced cell therapies for the industry's top pharmaceutical, biotech, academic and healthcare institutions globally. With over 40 years as a partner to the semiconductor manufacturing industry, Brooks’ Semiconductor Solutions business provides industry-leading precision vacuum robotics, integrated automation systems and contamination control solutions to the world's leading semiconductor chip makers and equipment manufacturers as well as collaborative robotics and automation capabilities for multi-market applications. Brooks is headquartered in Chelmsford, MA, with operations in North America, Europe and Asia. For more information, please visit www.brooks.com.