NEXTIN, a South Korean company that specializes in semiconductor inspection equipment, will look to go public through KOSDAQ as soon as possible. It requested a preliminary screening to be listed on KOSDAQ by utilizing the technology exception policy. It also presented a roadmap for becoming an important equipment maker that competes globally based on its differentiated technologies.
APS Holdings announced on June 9 that its subsidiary NEXTIN submitted a preliminary screening request for the IPO process using the technology exception policy and that it has entered necessary IPO (Initial Public Offering) procedures. KB Securities will oversee NEXTIN’s IPO process.
In September last year, Korea Exchange (KRX) modified conditions of the technology exception policy for materials, components, and equipment makers so that they only have to receive an A grade from one outside rating agency. Normal companies have to receive at least A and BBB grades from two agencies.
NEXTIN received an A grade from a rating agency in January and met the minimum qualification to utilize the technology exception policy. Although its initial schedule for IPO process has been pushed back about two months due to COVID-19, it is intent on going public by the end of this year.
“Going public will be an opportunity for us to have a new leap forward.” said President Park Tae-hoon of NEXTIN. “We want to challenge ourselves globally through our advanced technologies that we currently possess.”
NEXTIN, which was established in 2010, possesses an ability to inspect defects of ultra-fine patterns of a semiconductor wafer. It commercialized “AEGIS” system that detects defects and foreign substances through an optical image comparison method and a 3D wafer pattern inspection system called “IRIS”.
Foreign companies from the U.S. and others have been dominating the semiconductor equipment market. Despite this fact, NEXTIN was able to secure multinational memory device manufacturers and foundries as its customers by advertising its technologies and it has established a stable supply network. It is estimated that the percentage of its foreign sales this year will make up 70% of its entire sales.
NEXTIN’s efforts towards being listed on KOSDAQ are likely to have an impact on relevant industries. There is a good chance that materials and components makers that have been hesitant on going public will look to go public through the technology exception policy. The fact that the South Korean Government, the political circle, and the financial circle have been providing various support measures since the Japanese Government imposed trade restrictions on South Korea last year in order to help South Korea’s materials, components, and equipment sectors to be technologically independent.
“About ten companies including NEXTIN requested for a preliminary screening from KRX in order to be listed on KOSDAQ.” said a representative for the industry. “There will be more companies that will pursue IPO process in order to go public by the end of this year.”
Staff Reporter Yun, Heeseok | firstname.lastname@example.org