April 25, 2001

Lila White
(804) 692-3110

Wilfried Sauer
Leica Microsystems AG
(011) (49) 6441 29-22 00
Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
Governor Gilmore Announces Leica Microsystems to Locate Semiconductor World Headquarters in Fairfax
-- Governor Gilmore finalizes project during European trade mission - -

Wetzler, Germany - After meeting with corporate executives today, Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore announced that Leica Microsystems will locate its world headquarters for its semiconductor division in Fairfax County. Leica, a German company, is represented in more than 100 countries with 12 factories in eight countries, 19 sales and service organizations, and an international network of dealers. With its workforce of 3,800 employees it creates sales of approximately $540 million. The international management is headquartered in Wetzlar, Germany. Leica will also invest $1.5 million in the 10,000-square-foot headquarters space located in the Westfields office park. Virginia successfully competed with Texas for this investment. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority assisted Leica Microsystems with its decision.

"This is my second visit to Germany for economic development purposes and I believe that these relationships between German companies and Virginia enable the Commonwealth to remain a leader in the international marketplace," said Governor Gilmore. "Thanks to Leica's decision to locate its world headquarters for its semiconductor division in Fairfax County, Virginia's reputation as the Digital Dominion will get a significant boost and will cement our position as the semiconductor leader on the East Coast of the United States."

Leica Microsystems is a leading global designer and producer of innovative high-tech precision optics systems for the analysis of microstructures. It is one of the market leaders in each of its five-business areas; microscopy, imaging systems, specimen preparation, medical equipment and semiconductor equipment. The company manufactures a broad range of products for numerous applications that require either microscopic visual presentation, measurement, analysis or electron-beam lithography. The company offers system solutions in the areas of life science including biotechnology and medicine, as well as the science of raw materials, industrial quality assurance and the semiconductor industry.

"The choice of the location in Fairfax County, Virginia, near the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C. can be attributed to the dynamic growth of the high-tech industry in this region," said CEO Horst Wegener. "As the USA is also the place where the largest innovations in the semiconductor industry are made, the technology is constantly further developed and new applications are defined and introduced, it was therefore a logical step for us to move the headquarters of our business and accessories for the semiconductor business to the USA."

"Virginia offers the technology infrastructure and skilled workforce that Leica needs to thrive," said Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry E. DuVal. "Almost 32 percent of Virginians, 25-years-of-age and older, have bachelor's or advanced degrees. Over 16,000 doctoral scientists and engineers are employed in Virginia, more than any other state in the Southeast United States.


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