Brooks Automation Inc   (BRKS)
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Brooks Automation Inc

Business Description

We are a leading worldwide provider of automation and cryogenic solutions for multiple markets, including semiconductor capital equipment and life science biological sample management and storage. We believe our technology and engineering competencies in mission critical controlled environments add superior value to our customers’ products. Our highly skilled global services capabilities ensure high uptime for these products. We have been a leading partner to the global semiconductor manufacturing markets since 1978 and have expanded our products and services to meet the needs of customers in technology markets adjacent to semiconductor manufacturing and life sciences through product development initiatives and strategic business acquisitions. We are headquartered in Chelmsford, Massachusetts and have full service operations in North America, Europe and Asia.

Our company initially developed and marketed automated handling equipment for front-end semiconductor manufacturing tools and became publicly traded in February 1995. We became the leading provider of these automation solutions and broadened the markets we serve through both internal product development and strategic business acquisitions. We also expanded our core product capabilities to include leading technology solutions in cryogenic vacuum equipment for the front-end semi-conductor and adjacent markets. In 2011, we divested our contract manufacturing business to better focus on our core technology solutions.

We identified life sciences as an underserved strategic market where our core competencies in automation and cryogenic solutions could provide enabling products and services to the market, as well as favorable opportunities for growth of our business. In 2011 we acquired RTS Life Sciences based in the United Kingdom, or UK, and Nexus Biosystems, Inc. based in California, or CA, to penetrate the automated sample storage system market and became a leading worldwide provider of these solutions. In August 2013, we acquired certain assets and liabilities of Matrical, Inc., a Washington-based provider of biological sample preparation, management and storage solutions. In addition to automated sample management, our life sciences business offers related services, along with consumables and complementary bench-top instruments. In October 2014, we acquired FluidX Ltd., or FluidX, a UK-based provider of biological sample storage tubes and complementary bench-top instruments, which strengthened our product portfolio of biological sample consumables. The acquired businesses have been fully integrated into our operations.

Since entering the life sciences sample management market, we have strengthened and broadened our product portfolio and market reach by investing in internal product development and by forging strategic partnerships in this field. In 2014, we launched the Twin-bank platform, an automated sample management system developed by the Company, with a modular architecture designed for maximum flexibility. In March 2015, we launched the CryoPod, liquid nitrogen-charged carrier system for transporting biological specimens at cryogenic temperatures, which we jointly developed with BioCision LLC, a CA-based Company in which we have a 20% ownership interest. In August of 2015, we shipped our first evaluation prototypes of the Biostore III Cryo, an automated system which incorporates sample monitoring, tracking, and inventory control with the industry’s standard cryo storage vessel. In September 2015, we entered into an agreement to exclusively license a chip-based technology for the life science sample management market which will enhance capabilities for tagging and tracking biological and related samples in biorepositories, including cryogenic storage and related areas.

In addition to the acquisitions made to expand the non-semiconductor portions of our business, we have also continued to make investments to maintain and grow our semiconductor product and service offerings. In 2012, we acquired Crossing Automation Inc, a Fremont, CA-based provider of automation solutions for the global semiconductor front-end market. In April 2014, we acquired Dynamic Micro Systems Semiconductor Equipment GmbH, or DMS, a German provider of automated systems to clean wafer carriers and for the storage and management of reticles. In August 2015, we acquired Contact, Ltd., or Contact, a Japanese provider of front opening unified pod, or FOUP, cleaners, to broaden our CCS product portfolio and add complementary technology to our CCS business unit.

We report our financial results for three operating and reportable segments: (i) Brooks Product Solutions; (ii) Brooks Global Services; and (iii) Brooks Life Science Systems.
The Brooks Product Solutions segment provides a variety of products and solutions that enable improved throughput and yield in controlled operating environments. Those products include atmospheric and vacuum robots, robotic modules and tool automation systems that provide precision handling and clean wafer environments, as well as vacuum pumping and thermal management solutions used to create and control critical process vacuum applications.

The Brooks Global Services segment provides an extensive range of support services, including repair services, diagnostic support services and installation services in support of the products from our Brooks Product Solutions segment, which enable our customers to maximize process tool uptime and productivity. This segment also provides end-user customers with spare parts to maximize customer tool productivity.
The Brooks Life Science Systems segment provides automated sample management systems for automated cold sample storage, equipment for sample preparation and handling, consumables, as well as parts and support services to a wide range of life science customers including pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, national laboratories, research institutes and research hospitals.

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