Atmel Updates Progress on Previously Announced Plan to Pursue Strategic Alternatives for Its ASIC Business

Jan 29, 2010, 09:00 ET from Atmel Corporation

SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Atmel® Corporation (Nasdaq: ATML), a leader in microcontroller and touch solutions, today announced that following a comprehensive review of alternatives for its ASIC business, it will continue to explore the potential sale of the Company's Smart Card (SMS) business located in Rousset, France and East Kilbride, UK and that it intends to discontinue potential sale discussions for its Customer Specific Products (CSP) and Aerospace businesses.

Atmel's ASIC business is a leading provider of high performance customer specific integrated circuits and security solutions to the industrial, aerospace and consumer markets operating in three distinct business segments: Smart Cards (SMS), Customer Specific Products (CSP) and Aerospace. In addition, the ASIC business includes an advanced semiconductor wafer fabrication business located in Rousset, France. As previously announced, Atmel has entered into an exclusivity agreement with LFoundry GmbH for the potential sale of this fab business. Atmel has been pursuing strategic alternatives for the ASIC business and related manufacturing assets as part of its transformation plan, which is aimed at focusing on the Company's high-growth and high-margin businesses.

"We are pleased with the progress we are making with the strategic alternatives process for the ASIC business and related manufacturing assets," said Steven Laub, Atmel's President and Chief Executive Officer. "The proposed sale of the wafer fabrication business in Rousset remains on track, and we continue to discuss the potential sale of the SMS business segment with interested parties. As part of our review, we have also determined that shareholders' interests are best served by Atmel retaining the CSP and Aerospace business segments."

Atmel confirmed today that it continues to expect the Works Council in Rousset to render its opinion on the proposed LFoundry transaction in the first quarter of 2010. If Atmel receives the approval of the Works Council, Atmel will seek authorization from its Board of Directors to enter into a definitive agreement with LFoundry.

Atmel has informed the employee representatives of the Works Council in Rousset that it proposes to sell the SMS business in addition to the wafer fabrication business as part of the Company's pursuit of strategic alternatives for its ASIC business and related manufacturing assets, subject to, among other things, continued discussion with interested parties and consultation with the Rousset Works Council.

About Atmel

Atmel is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of capacitive touch solutions, microcontrollers, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and radio frequency (RF) components. Leveraging one of the industry's broadest intellectual property (IP) technology portfolios, Atmel is able to provide the electronics industry with complete system solutions focused on consumer, industrial, security, communications, computing and automotive markets.  

Safe Harbor for Forward-Looking Statements

Information in this release regarding Atmel's forecasts, outlook, expectations and beliefs are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements include, without limitation, statements about Atmel's preliminary discussions with interested parties for the potential sale of the Company's SMS business segment and exclusivity agreement with LFoundry regarding a potential sale of the Company's wafer fabrication operation in Rousset, France, as well as the effects of such transactions if consummated; Atmel's transformation plans and other statements regarding Atmel's exploration of strategic alternatives for its ASIC business and related manufacturing assets; and Atmel's strategies.  All forward-looking statements included in this release are based upon information available to Atmel as of the date of this release, which may change, and we assume no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results could differ materially from our current expectations. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include general economic conditions; risk relating to the negotiation, signing and closing of any potential transaction regarding Atmel's ASIC business and related manufacturing assets, including the risk that the parties may not sign definitive agreements relating to the potential transaction with LFoundry; that required approvals may not be obtained in a timely manner or at all, or that other conditions are not satisfied; the inability to realize the anticipated benefits of any potential transaction or series of transactions regarding Atmel's ASIC business and related manufacturing assets, if consummated, or of our other recent strategic transactions, restructuring plans and other initiatives in a timely manner or at all; unanticipated costs and expenses or the inability to identify expenses which can be eliminated; and other risks detailed from time to time in Atmel's SEC reports and filings, including our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008, filed on March 2, 2009, and our subsequent Form 10-Q reports.

Investor Contact:

Media Contact:

Robert Pursel

Director of Investor Relations


Joele Frank / Jaime Wert

Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher


SOURCE Atmel Corporation