ASML intends to stick to its home base

Paul van Gerven
Reading time: 2 minutes

ASML is preparing for expansion near its headquarters, although concerns about the Dutch business climate haven’t been fully alleviated yet.

ASML is working with the municipality of Eindhoven to expand on the north side of the Brainport Industries Campus (BIC), a few kilometers from the firm’s current headquarters. Once the lithography giant feels assured its needs for talent, infrastructure, housing and a positive investment climate will be met, it will commit to the expansion. The Eindhoven city council also has to OK the deal.

“ASML prefers to keep core activities in the Netherlands as close as possible to the existing locations in Veldhoven, because this promotes cooperation between the teams and different business units, thus stimulating innovation. The BIC is therefore an interesting option that we’re now exploring,” says ASML CFO Roger Dassen.

The selected location can house up to 20,000 people, almost as many as ASML currently employs in the Netherlands. Most of the land, about 80 percent, is already owned by the municipality. The remainder has yet to be acquired, but the municipality has a right of first refusal.

The main entrance of the Brainport Industries Campus. Credit: BIC


The Dutch cabinet will surely breathe a sigh of relief following the announcement. The national government suffered embarrassment when reports about one of the world’s most coveted companies looking to relocate went viral. ASML has never threatened to leave the Netherlands, but it did say that expansion abroad was on the table. “We’d rather do it here. But if we can’t do it here, we’ll do it somewhere else,” outgoing CEO Peter Wennink said in January.

ASML was displeased about expat tax break cutbacks and the introduction of a tax on share buybacks. Plans to throttle the influx of foreign students and, more generally, immigrants hit a sore spot as well. These concerns haven’t yet been addressed, but in Dutch newspaper Eindhovens Dagblad, Dassen hints that solutions are in the works (link in Dutch). Things are “going the right way,” he says.

Economic Affairs Minister Micky Adriaansens is happy about ASML’s intention to expand near its home base. “This expansion confirms confidence in the Dutch business climate and underlines the cabinet’s support for the chip sector,” she writes on Linkedin (link in Dutch).

Incidentally, Dassen confirms in ED that other locations at home and abroad have been examined. The deciding factor proved to be proximity: ASML wants to keep as little distance as possible between factories and development departments. The company also prefers to continue to operate near its main network of suppliers and knowledge institutes.

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