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ASML gets Silicon nod

May 3, 2001
Web posted at: 1113 GMT

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) -- Dutch chipmaking equipment manufacturer ASM Lithography said on Thursday it received approval from the U.S. government to go ahead with its bid for California-based Silicon Valley Group Inc.

ASML said in a statement it will try to sell Silicon Valley Group's (SVG: Research, Estimates) optical unit, Tinsley Laboratories, which was the source of concerns on the part of the U.S. Defense Department.

Military officials feared the technology, used for making lenses for spy satellites, could fall into the hands of countries the U.S. does not like.

In the absence of a sale of the unit, ASML may be allowed to operate it under adherence to a set of restrictions, likely to include barring sales to certain countries.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) reached the agreement with ASML, after earlier having referred the deal to President George W. Bush for approval.

As part of the agreement, ASML begins a six-month period in which it will explore the possible sale of the lab or other strategic alternatives that would reassure the U.S.

ASML said it expected to close the transaction within the next few weeks.

ASML shares fell on news of the go ahead, slipping 5.5 percent to graphic29.61 after the announcement, valuing the SVG deal at around graphic1.6 billion ($1.44 billion).



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