News Release

The Carlyle Group Makes Third Venture Investment in Japan


Tokyo, Japan – Global private equity firm The Carlyle Group today announced that it has invested JPY200 million (approximately $1.6 million) in Fab Solutions Company, Ltd., a Japanese technology spinout from NEC Corporation. Fab Solutions develops next generation wafer inspection and evaluation tools for advanced semiconductor manufacturing processes.

This is Carlyle’s third venture capital investment in Japan followed by a September 2001 investment in eAccess Ltd., a broadband access provider, and a December 2001 investment in Nitride Semiconductors, Co., Ltd., a manufacturer of blue and ultraviolet LEDs.

Carlyle led the Company’s JPY1.07 billion (approximately $8.6 million) second institutional round alongside other Japanese venture capital firms including JAFCO. Carlyle’s investment is divided into two installments: the first installment of JPY200 million (approximately $1.6 million) was completed 8th October 2002 and the second installment of JPY400 million (approximately $3.2 million) is expected to be made in Q2 2003.

Fab Solutions’s core product, EB-Scope, is an in-line/non-destructive inspection and evaluation tool using electron beam-induced substrate current. EB-Scope utilizes electron beams to induce substrate currents; induced substrate currents are detected and analyzed by proprietary software to inspect and evaluate wafers. The technology enables a semiconductor manufacturer to evaluate both the size of the high aspect ratio hole and the thickness of the film in the bottom.

“We are attracted to Fab Solutions’s breakthrough technology as well as its value proposition in the fast growing process diagnostic and control segment of the semiconductor process equipment industry. Importantly, we expect to help Fab Solutions develop its international presence through Carlyle’s global network,” said Kazuo Higashi, Managing Director and Head of Japan Venture, The Carlyle Group.