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Sofradir Buys Electrophysics

Photonics.com
Oct 2008
PARIS and FAIRFIELD, N.J., Oct. 6, 2008 -- France-based advanced infrared detector maker Sofradir announced Monday that it will acquire Electrophysics, a US developer of advanced high-performance IR equipment. Terms of the deal, including the purchase price, were not disclosed.

Sofradir, which has its headquarters in Chatenay-Malabry, near Paris, specializes in cooled infrared (IR) detectors based on mercury cadmium telluride (MCT) technology, and its scanning and staring arrays covering the entire infrared spectrum. Sofradir also offers QWIP (quantum-well infrared photodetector) detectors developed in cooperation with Thales.

Ulis, Sofradir's subsidiary, designs low-cost uncooled amorphous silicon IR detectors for commercial applications. The companies directly export more than 70 percent of their products, with customers including the US Army, Thales, Sagem, Selex, Thales Alenia Space, ESA (European Space Agency) and Flir Systems. Their manufacturing facilities are located in Veurey-Voroize, near Grenoble, France, and they employ 470 people.

Founded in 1969, Electrophysics manufactures IR equipment for a wide range of imaging applications including portable thermal imagers and night vision modules for low-light photography and videography. The company sells to industrial, scientific, law enforcement and US Department of Defense customers. In addition, it develops image acquisition and analysis software and a range of application specific accessories including optics. The company, located in Fairfield, N.J., has 35 employees and annual revenues of $12 million.

Sofradir said the acquisition of Electrophysics will help it ramp up sales and enhance the service it provides to US customers in the defense, space and commercial industries. It will also accelerate the development of Ulis in the North American IR detector and module market, estimated at $1 billion.

"This strategic foothold will boost Sofradir and Ulis's growth by bringing us closer to customers in the US who will have ready access to our advanced cooled and uncooled IR technologies, known for their performance, reliability and producibility," said Philippe Bensussan, chairman and CEO of Sofradir and chairman of Ulis. "Having a US base of operations will allow us to be more cost competitive and responsive to our customers."

"Sofradir has an exciting product development roadmap and an established history of delivering high-quality IR detectors. We foresee a wide range of market opportunities in public safety, security and defense, supplying both OEM's and system integrators," said Electrophysics President Frank Vallese, who will continue to head the US operation.

Sofradir said it expects to complete the transaction within 30 days.

For more information, visit: www.sofradir.com


GLOSSARY
detector
1. A device designed to convert the energy of incident radiation into another form for the determination of the presence of the radiation. The device may function by electrical, photographic or visual means. 2. A device that provides an electric output that is a useful measure of the radiation that is incident on the device.
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
spectrum
See optical spectrum; visible spectrum.
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