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The End of Oerlikon’s Amorphous Silicon Solar Saga

For more than a decade, Oerlikon, a Swiss conglomerate owned by a Russian oligarch, ran a modestly unsuccessful amorphous silicon (a-Si) solar manufacturing equipment business. In March 2012, the a-Si equipment division of Oerlikon was divested to Tokyo Electron (TEL) in a $275 million deal. Late last year, Applied Materials, the chip-making equipment giant, agreed to buy Tokyo Electron in an all-stock deal valued at more than $9 billion. Applied is the top builder of semiconductor manufacturing equipment; …