Toppan, a global company in communication, security, packaging, décor materials and electronics solutions, has entered into a share transfer agreement to carve out its semiconductor photomask business and establish a new company, Toppan Photomask Co., Ltd. (Toppan Photomask), with independent Japanese private equity company Integral Corporation (Integral) as an investment partner. Toppan Photomask has begun operations as a joint venture between Toppan and Integral.

As digital innovation accelerates in diverse markets due to the evolution of technologies including artificial intelligence, automotive, power and 5G networks, the global semiconductor market continues to expand at a rapid pace and is forecast to be worth more than 100 trillion yen in 2030. Against a backdrop of a global shortage of semiconductors, manufacturers are moving to bolster production capacity, which is in turn driving unprecedented demand for photomasks, essential components for semiconductor fabrication.

The rapid growth of the semiconductor market, however, is driving the photomask market to a turning point, requiring manufacturers to make investments in R&D and equipment faster and more flexibly than ever before, based on accurate assessment of market changes and customer trends.

After extensive exploration of potential strategic options in response to the market environment, Toppan says it has determined that the best way to contribute to greater value for customers and shareholders is to implement an agile investment-focused strategy based on market needs by joining with Integral. 

While receiving support as a consolidated subsidiary of Toppan Inc., Toppan Photomask will continue to manufacture semiconductor photomasks and reportedly strengthen its management and governance functions by taking advantage of support and expertise from Integral.

Toppan Photomask is headed by CEO Teruo Ninomiya, says, “We are very excited to be making a new start that will drive greater efficiency and provide even better service in an extremely dynamic market. An IPO will be one milestone for us in the future as we look to support the long-term growth of the semiconductor sector in collaboration with our customers in a constantly changing landscape. We will bring together the expertise and excellence of our people throughout the world to drive continuous improvement and create new value as our customers’ first-choice partner by leveraging strengths in technological development and teamwork as well as the outstanding quality, cost, and delivery enabled by our global manufacturing network.”