Darmstadt, Germany, December 14, 2015 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, today announced that it has acquired Ormet Circuits Inc., to strengthen its position as a materials supplier for the semiconductor industry.

Ormet is an early-stage, venture-capital-backed business located in San Diego, California. It has previously been owned by various institutional and private investors, of which PEI Funds, a US-based investment company, was the single largest shareholder. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has already held a minority stake in Ormet and has now taken over all remaining shares. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.

“Ormet has developed conductive pastes based on a unique environmental friendly technology which can solve technical challenges in semiconductor packaging. This is particularly interesting due to the growing demand for highly integrated devices such as mobile phones or wearables”, said Rico Wiedenbruch, Head of the Integrated Circuit Materials business unit. Semiconductor packaging is the final stage of semiconductor device fabrication in which the device is assembled and encased.

Ormet’s pastes utilize a novel, patented sintering technology. This technology makes it possible to replace lead-based solders used in semiconductor applications, as well as enhance the reliability of devices when they are operating at elevated temperatures.

The company’s Integrated Circuit Materials business unit, part of the Group’s Performance Materials business sector, already has a strong position as a semiconductor materials supplier. Ormet’s technology will now allow Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, to further strengthen this position and will diversify the product portfolio.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is counting on innovative technologies to tap into additional growth areas in the electronics industry to benefit even more from the increasing demand for electronic devices beyond displays. By combining various competencies, the company will be in an even stronger position in the future to serve the demand for materials with increasingly complex functionalities.