Align-Rite International Inc, a Gallo-American maker of photomasks for the semiconductor industry formed in California but now headquartered in Bridgend, South Wales, has set a $36m five-year expansion plan to become a leading supplier of masks to the European chip industry. The company has venture capital backing from Hambrecht & Quist in San Francisco and Charterhouse Japhet, Prutech, and Foreign & Colonial in the UK, and is considering seeking a quotation for its shares on the Unlisted Securities Market. The expansion plan, reports the Financial Times, involves extending both the Bridgend and Burbank, California production facilities. It also plans offices on the continent and in the Far East. The Bridgend expansion is expected to add 36 to the 58-strong workforce.