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Mergers, Acquisitions and More

Sarina Tracy, sarina.tracy@photonics.com

June 2013 through May 2014

Just a few short months ago, our January issue included a feature titled “Where the Jobs Are Now” by Howard Rudzinsky, who noted that the U.S. had experienced 44 months of continuous job growth with a comeback in manufacturing and energy exploration. As this issue goes to print, we are now at 52.

Rudzinsky also predicted that the unemployment rate would “drop to or below 6.5 percent at the end of 2014, and even further if economic growth picks up the pace.”

Fortunately, his forecast came to fruition earlier than expected: A 6.3 percent unemployment rate was seen by April, with a drop to 6.1 percent in June.

The ISM manufacturing index increased for the 13th consecutive month, and the energy market remains an increasingly imperative venture. Corporate profits are also at record highs. “We just have to convince those holding the purse strings of the value proposition of photonics products,” Rudzinsky wrote in the January article.

In many cases, the ones holding the purse strings are other photonics companies. This past year saw dozens of mergers and acquisitions, showing value in the market and clear opportunities for growth. Companies are mirroring the economy’s improvement by investing in the capabilities of other businesses to improve their brands. As the economy continues to strengthen, more expansions will occur.

Here’s a list of the mergers and acquisitions we saw in the past 12 months. Please note that the business moves below are compiled in the order in which we first reported on them and may not reflect the actual closing dates of each transaction.

JUNE 2013

Thorlabs Inc., a laser and fiber optic provider based in Newton, N.J., acquired Digital Video Camera Co. of Austin, Texas. The deal strengthened Thorlabs’ portfolio with the addition of scientific cameras. Terms were not disclosed.

UAB Altechna, a manufacturer and distributor of laser optics, optoelectronics and laser components in Vilnius, Lithuania, purchased a major share of Vilnius-based optical coating company Optida Co. Ltd. Terms were not disclosed.

JULY 2013

Buffalo Grove, Ill.-based histopathology solution provider Leica Biosystems acquired Amsterdam-based Kreatech Diagnostics, a privately held provider of DNA fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) probes and target labeling reagents, for an undisclosed amount.

AUGUST 2013

First Solar of Tempe, Ariz., acquired the thin-film solar technology of Fairfield, Conn.-based General Electric Co. in exchange for 1.75 million shares of its common stock.

Cheil Industries, a Samsung affiliate based in South Korea, acquired a majority 50 percent stake in Dresden, Germany-based Novaled, while Samsung Electronics acquired 40 percent. The transaction valued Novaled at €260 million ($347 million).

Sensor maker Flir Systems Inc. of Wilsonville, Ore., acquired DigitalOptics Corp.’s Charlotte, N.C.-based micro-optics business for $14.9 million.

SEPTEMBER 2013

To expand its cell analysis offerings for both research and diagnostics applications, Life Technologies Corp. of Carlsbad, Calif., acquired Advanced Microscopy Group of Bothell, Wash., a developer of imaging systems for research microscopy, incorporated as Westover Scientific Inc. Terms were not disclosed.

Optics and optoelectronics manufacturer Zeiss of Oberkochen, Germany, acquired 3-D x-ray microscope provider Xradia Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif., and renamed it Carl Zeiss X-ray Microscopy Inc. The purchase price was not released.

Optical communications provider Oclaro Inc. sold its Zurich-based subsidiary and laser diode business to Saxonburg, Pa.-based II-VI Inc., an optoelectronic components manufacturing company, for $115 million.

Scientific instruments provider Bruker Corp., based in Billerica, Mass., acquired Prairie Technologies Inc. of Middleton, Wis., a provider of fluorescence microscopy products. Specific terms were not disclosed.

Excelitas Technologies Corp., a provider of optoelectronics based in Waltham, Mass., acquired Luxembourg-based Qioptiq, a privately held photonic products maker. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Analytical instruments maker Malvern Instruments Ltd. of Malvern, England, acquired Amesbury, England-based nanoparticle characterization company NanoSight Ltd. The price was not disclosed.

OCTOBER 2013

Cascade Microtech Inc. of Portland, Ore., a manufacturer of semiconductor test equipment, acquired Munich-based thermal systems provider ATT Advanced Temperature Test Systems GmbH for €8.4 million in cash (about $11 million), approximately 1.6 million shares of Cascade Microtech common stock and deferred payments of approximately €800,000 (about $1,095,000).

Thorlabs of Newton, N.J., bought Westwood, Mass.-based CompuCyte Corp., adding laser scanning cytometry to its portfolio. Terms were not disclosed.

Through intracompany mergers, Clarksburg, Md.-based Thales Communications consolidated its U.S. defense and security-related businesses, merged with Thales USA Defense & Security and changed its name to Thales Defense & Security.

Ilminster, England-based optical components maker Gooch & Housego plc extended its capabilities in infrared optics and coatings by acquiring precision optical components manufacturer Spanoptic Ltd. of Glenrothes, Scotland. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Irvine, Calif.-based laser and optical components maker Newport Corp. sold its Billerica, Mass.-based Micro Robotics Systems (MRSI) advanced packaging business, now called MRSI Systems, to the unit’s management team and a private investment group in a $6 million buyout.

NOVEMBER 2013

Agilent Technologies Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif., a manufacturer of measurement instruments, acquired ABC Instrumentación Analítica of Mexico City, a distributor of analytical solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Excelitas Technologies Corp., an optoelectronics provider based in Waltham, Mass., acquired Ontario-based Lumen Dynamics, a UV curing and fluorescence illumination provider, for an undisclosed amount.

DECEMBER 2013

Gooch & Housego plc of Ilminster, England, acquired Constelex Technology Enablers Ltd., an Athens, Greece-based manufacturer of advanced photonic systems. The terms were not released.

Milpitas, Calif.-based communications equipment company JDS Uniphase Corp. acquired enterprise network developer Network Instruments of Minnetonka, Minn., for $200 million in cash.

High-technology tool provider Oxford Instruments plc of Abingdon, England, acquired Andor Technology of Belfast, Northern Ireland, a manufacturer of scientific digital cameras, for approximately £176 million (about $286.5 million) in cash.

JANUARY 2014

GE Healthcare of Little Chalfont, England, acquired Waltham, Mass.-based Thermo Fisher Scientific’s HyClone cell-culture media and sera, gene modulation and magnetic beads businesses for $1.06 billion.

Jena, Germany-based Carl Zeiss Meditec Inc. purchased Aaren Scientific Inc. of Ontario, Calif., a manufacturer of intraocular lenses. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Finisar Corp. of Sunnyvale, Calif., acquired u2t Photonics AG of Berlin for $20 million in cash to strengthen its 100G coherent technologies portfolio.

Tektronix Inc., a provider of test, measurement and monitoring instrumentation in Beaverton, Ore., acquired Picosecond Pulse Labs of Boulder, Colo., a test and measurement instrument manufacturer. Terms were not disclosed.

FEBRUARY 2014

Stockholm-based lock manufacturer Assa Abloy AB purchased authentication solution provider Lumidigm Inc. of Albuquerque, N.M., for an undisclosed amount.

Kyoto, Japan-based Horiba Scientific acquired Photon Technology International of Birmingham, N.J., as part of its scientific segment. Terms were not disclosed.

Scientific Digital Imaging acquired Opus Instruments, a manufacturer of infrared reflectography cameras for art history and restoration, for £1.33 million (about $2.2 million) in cash and shares. Both companies are based in Cambridge, England.

Laser developer and manufacturer Rofin-Sinar Technologies Inc. of Hamburg, Germany, acquired Portland, Ore.-based laser provider FiLaser USA. Terms were not disclosed.

MARCH 2014

Attocube Systems AG of Munich, a nanotechnology manufacturer, acquired Neaspec GmbH of Planegg, Germany, a nanoscale optical imaging and spectroscopy provider. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Precision metrology company TSI Inc. of Shoreview, Minn., acquired Irvine, Calif.-based Raman instrumentation provider Enwave Optronics for an undisclosed amount.

Bedford, Mass.-based GSI Group, a supplier of precision photonic components and subsystems, sold its scientific laser business, Continuum, for $7.5 million to an unspecified buyer. In another transaction, GSI acquired Jadak Technologies, a North Syracuse, N.Y.-based provider of optical data collection and machine vision technologies, for $93.5 million.

CyberOptics Corp., a provider of sensors and inspection systems for the global electronic assembly and semiconductor equipment markets, acquired Laser Design Inc., a manufacturer of 3-D laser scanners, for $2.7 million in cash. Both companies are based in Minneapolis.

Generation Growth Capital Inc., a private equity firm based in Milwaukee, acquired Innovative Laser Technologies Inc. of Minneapolis, a designer and fabricator of laser workstations. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

APRIL 2014

Phoenix-based semiconductor supplier company ON Semiconductor acquired Truesense Imaging Inc. of Rochester, N.Y., for $92 million.

Teledyne Technologies Inc. and its subsidiary, Teledyne Instruments Inc. of Thousand Oaks, Calif., have acquired Photon Machines Inc., a provider of laser-based sample introduction systems and analytical instruments in Bozeman, Mont. Specific terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Berwyn, Pa.-based manufacturer of electronic instruments Ametek Inc. acquired Zygo Corp., a Middlefield, Conn.-based supplier of optical systems and equipment, for roughly $280 million.

MAY 2014

Oxford, Mass.-based IPG Photonics, a provider of high-power fiber lasers and fiber amplifiers, acquired Veeco Instruments of Plainview, N.Y., a provider of process equipment products. Terms were not disclosed.

Jenoptik Traffic Solutions, an optoelectronics manufacturer in Jena, Germany, recently acquired Robot Nederland BV, a traffic monitoring firm in Riel, Netherlands. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Singapore-based Avago Technologies Ltd. acquired fellow semiconductor developer LSI Corp. of San Jose, Calif., for $11.15 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $6.6 billion.


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