In past years, we’ve reported from trade shows and conferences that the
mood was one of “cautious optimism” that progressed to, as someone said,
“restrained exuberance.” Today, the optimism and exuberance are
catching on – and growing. Companies are growing, too, in part by
acquiring or merging with other organizations.
“In the photonics industry right now, very small companies are getting
acquired by very big companies – ‘small’ meaning anyone from a few
million dollars in sales to fifty million dollars in sales – are getting
acquired by companies that could be billions of dollars in sales,” said
Linda Smith, president of Ceres Technology Advisers Inc. of Waltham,
Mass., in a recent SPIE.TV video. “And I think that’s an indication that
there’s an incredible amount of value right now in this fragmented
market, and the strategic buyers see it.”
Here’s a list of the mergers and acquisitions we saw in the past year.
Please note that the business moves below are gathered in the order in
which we first reported on them and may not reflect the actual closing
dates of each transaction.
Teledyne Technologies Inc. acquired all outstanding common shares of test solutions supplier LeCroy Corp. for approximately
EDAC Technologies Corp. acquired precision manufacturing product
provider EBTEC Corp. for $11 million. EDAC designs and manufactures
precision components for aerospace and industrial applications.
Teledyne RD Instruments Inc., a subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies
Inc., acquired imaging solutions provider BlueView Technologies Inc. of
Seattle. Terms were not disclosed.
Electro Scientific Industries Inc. (ESI) acquired pulsed fiber laser
maker Eolite Systems of Pessac, France, for $10 million in cash. The
acquisition gave ESI access to technology for microfabrication.
Rudolph Technologies Inc., a maker of process control metrology systems
used in semiconductor device manufacturing, acquired NanoPhotonics GmbH
of Mainz, Germany. Specific terms were not disclosed.
Fiber laser maker IPG Photonics Corp. spent $55.4 million to regain the
22.5 percent minority interest in its Russia-based subsidiary, NTO
IRE-Polus, from Russian-government-owned Rusnano.
Idex Corp. of Lake Forest, Ill., acquired optical components maker
Precision Photonics Corp. (PPC) for $20 million in cash. PPC now
operates in Idex’s Optics and Photonics platform.
To strengthen its position in the prism-based line-scan camera industry,
machine vision camera manufacturer JAI Inc. of San Jose, Calif.,
acquired TVI Vision Oy of Helsinki. Terms were not disclosed.
Trioptics GmbH acquired Wells Research Inc. of Lincoln, Mass., which
would continue to operate as a stand-alone company but work closely with
the German optical test equipment manufacturer.
3-D display technology companies 3DIcon Corp. and Dimension Technologies
Inc. signed a nonbinding letter outlining terms and conditions for
3DIcon’s acquisition of Dimension Technologies.
Idex Corp. acquired Matcon Group Ltd. of Evesham, England, a supplier of
materials processing solutions. Matcon now operates in Idex’s Health
and Science Technologies Div.
Universal Display Corp. paid $105 million for Fujifilm Corp.’s worldwide
portfolio of more than 1200 OLED patents and patent applications.
Electronic design automation company Synopsys Inc. of Mountain View,
Calif., bought RSoft Design Group Inc. of Ossining, N.Y., a photonics
design/simulation software provider. Terms were not disclosed.
Imaging and analysis systems company FEI Co. purchased Visualization
Sciences Group (VSG) of Bordeaux, France, for €44.8 million (about $57
To strengthen its position inthe field of fiber optics, Leoni Fiber
Optics GmbH announced its acquisition of all the assets of Richard Losch
Inc. of Bend, Ore.
IPG Photonics Corp. acquired industrial laser maker J.P. Sercel
Associates Inc. (JPSA) of Manchester, N.H. Terms were not disclosed; the
business would operate under the name IPG Microsystems LLC.
Kentek Corp. acquired fellow laser safety products maker
Laser-Professionals Inc. Financial terms were not disclosed. Kentek then
launched Laser Smart Services, including laser safety audits and
CrossFiber Inc., a maker of photonic switches, purchased OMM’s IP for an
undisclosed amount. OMM invented and manufactured Telcordia-qualified
MEMS-based photonic-switch modules.
Tornado Medical Systems of Ithaca, N.Y., and Arjae Spectral Enterprises
of Toronto merged into optical spectroscopy products entity Tornado
Spectral Systems, headquartered in Toronto with a US subsidiary in
JDSU sold its holographic security business to anti-counterfeiting
solutions provider OpSec Security Inc. of Lancaster, Pa. Specific terms
were not disclosed. JDSU serves the anti-counterfeiting market.
Newport Corp. extended its range of vibration-isolation equipment by
acquiring the products and technology of Tempe, Ariz.-based Vistek Inc.
Semiconductor lithography systems provider ASML Holding NV acquired its
light source supplier, Cymer Inc., for €1.95 billion (about $2.5
billion) in stock.
Coherent Inc. acquired Innolight Innovative Laser and Systemtechnik GmbH
and Midaz Lasers Ltd., a move it said would advance an emerging class
of commercial, low-cost, subnanosecond pulsed lasers for
microelectronics manufacturing. Coherent paid $18 million for Innolight
and $3.7 million for Midaz.
Laser Quantum UK acquired Gigaoptics GmbH of Konstanz, Germany, a maker
of Ti:sapphire lasers and oscillators. Terms were not disclosed.
Gigaoptics was renamed Laser Quantum GmbH.
Life Technologies Corp. purchased Advanced Microscopy Group (AMG), a
developer of imaging systems for research microscopy, to expand Life
Technologies’ cell imaging instrumentation product line.
CSA Group acquired Orb Optronix of Kirkland, Wash., to provide LED and
lighting metrology testing and certification services to global lighting
manufacturers. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Components maker Oclaro Inc. sold its Santa Rosa, Calif.-based thin-film
filter business to II-VI Inc. subsidiary Photop Technologies in a $27
million cash deal, in which Oclaro also sold its interleaver product
line to Photop Koncent Inc., another II-VI subsidiary.
Thorlabs added mid-IR laser capabilities with the acquisition of Maxion
Technologies Inc. from Massachusetts-based contract research provider
Physical Sciences Inc. Terms were not disclosed.
Konica Minolta Optics Inc. (KMOP), the optical business unit of
Japan-based Konica Minolta Group, acquired Instrument Systems GmbH, a
German lighting-measurement equipment manufacturer.
Precision Photonics and Advanced Thin Films, both part of the Idex
Optics & Photonics platform, merged under one roof to deliver
coatings, optical monitoring technology, optical bonding and substrates.
Oxford Instruments plc expanded its presence in nano-technology by
acquiring California-based microscope maker Asylum Research Corp. The
deal was reported to be worth as much as $80 million.
Testing and control equipment maker Spectris plc signed an agreement to
sell its Fusion UV business group to Heraeus Noblelight, a unit of
Heraeus Holding GmbH, for $172 million.
Coherent Inc. acquired ultrafast laser maker Lumera Laser GmbH of
Kaiserslautern, Germany, for approximately $52 million in cash. In
spring 2013, Lumera Laser changed its name to Coherent Kaiserslautern.
II-VI Inc. acquired LightWorks Optics Inc. for an initial cash
consideration of $31 million. The deal would include another $4 million
in cash if LightWorks achieved certain performance milestones.
Safety, health and environmental technology group Halma expanded its
ophthalmic offerings by acquiring MicroSurgical Technology Inc. (MST)
for $57 million in cash, including an additional $2 million for cash
retained in business. MST will receive another $43 million if earnings
for the two years between the sale and March 2015 exceed predetermined
Ultratech Inc. acquired the assets of Cambridge Nanotech Inc. of Cambridge, Mass., a developer and supplier of
atomic-layer deposition technology. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Flir Systems Inc. acquired the stock of Traficon International NV of
Wevelgem, Belgium, a video detection technologies maker, for
approximately $46 million in cash.
Thorlabs added mid-IR fiber capabilities to its portfolio through the
acquisition of the iGuide optical fiber products segment of
Montreal-based IRphotonics. Specific terms were not disclosed.
II-VI Inc. subsidiaries Aegis Lightwave and Photop Technologies merged
under the Photop brand. Massachusetts-based Aegis Lightwave would
operate as Photop Aegis Inc.; its subsidiary in Australia, AOFR Pty
Ltd., was renamed Photop AOFR Pty Ltd.
nLight Corp. invested in fiber laser technology by acquiring
Michigan-based Arbor Photonics Inc. Specific terms were not disclosed.
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. completed the acquisition of picoSpin LLC,
the Boulder, Colo., company that developed picoSpin-45, the world’s
first nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer.
GSI Group Inc. said its $82.5 million cash acquisition of NDS Surgical
Imaging, a San Jose, Calif.-based producer of surgical and radiology
displays, would provide a platform for growth in the medical market.
Universal Photonics expanded its portfolio of eco-safe, water-soluble
thermoplastic adhesives with the asset acquisition of Aquabond
Technologies of California.
NeoPhotonics Corp., a maker of photonic integrated circuit-based systems
for communications, acquired the Tokyo-based semiconductor optical
components business unit of Lapis Semiconductor Co. Ltd. for $36.8
million in cash.
Power Technology Inc. acquired diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) laser
manufacturer Klastech GmbH of Dortmund, Germany. Klastech DPSS lasers
are based on patented intracavity impedance-matched amplification-tuned
Instrument Systems GmbH expanded its display metrology portfolio by
buying the development and production rights of Autronic-Melchers GmbH.
Terms were not disclosed. Autronic-Melchers closed its operations.
To strengthen its diode laser portfolio, Toptica Photonics AG acquired
majority ownership of Berlin-based eagleyard Photonics GmbH.
AFL acquired fiber optic cable manufacturer Optimal Cable Services of Melbourne, Australia. Terms were not disclosed.
Techcomp Europe Group, the European subsidiary of Hong Kong-based
analytical instruments firm Techcomp Holdings Ltd., acquired 66 percent
of Edinburgh Instruments (EI) for $2.9 million in cash.
Corning Inc. signed an agreement with Abengoa of Seville, Spain, to
acquire its Brazilian subsidiary, Bargoa SA. Terms were not disclosed.
Optoelectronic components supplier Advanced Photonix acquired certain
assets of Silonex Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Arcas Automotive
Group, for $900,000 in cash.
IPG Photonics Corp. acquired Mountain View, Calif.-based Mobius
Photonics to accelerate entry of IPG’s fiber into the UV laser market
and broaden opportunities in fine processing. Terms were not disclosed.
Alfalight Inc. sold its commercial laser diode product line and
semiconductor fab assets to Compound Photonics, a provider of
high-definition laser projection light engines for mobile devices. Terms
were not disclosed.
First Solar Inc. signed an agreement to acquire solar photovoltaic
technology startup TetraSun from JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. and
other investors, including TetraSun management, for an undisclosed
Electro Scientific Industries Inc. acquired the Semiconductor Systems
unit of precision photonics supplier GSI Group Inc. to bring together
two providers of systems for laser-based wafer processing.
Eastman Kodak Co. planned to sell certain assets of its Document Imaging
business to Brother Industries Ltd. for $210 million in cash, subject
to court approval. Brother also would assume deferred service revenue
liability of the business, which totaled about $67 million as of Dec.
Semiconductor device manufacturer Avago Technologies Ltd. acquired
privately held CyOptics Inc. of Breinigsville, Pa., for $400 million in
cash for emerging 40G and 100G enterprise and data center opportunities.
Health care company Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co. Ltd.
acquired a 95.6 percent stake in Israel-based Alma Lasers Ltd. for $240
Exotic Electro-Optics (EEO) and LightWorks Optics (LWO), two
California-based subsidiaries of II-VI, merged to operate as LightWorks
Optical Systems Inc.
Power and automation technology supplier ABB acquired Los Gatos Research
of Mountain View, Calif., to add gas analyzers to its measurement
Teledyne Dalsa BV, a Teledyne Technologies subsidiary, acquired fabless
semiconductor company Axiom IC BV of Enschede, Netherlands, to
strengthen its CMOS mixed-signal integrated circuit design capabilities.
Terms were not disclosed.
GT Advanced Technologies acquired the business of Thermal Technology LLC
of Santa Rosa, Calif., for purchase consideration of approximately 3.4
million shares of GT common stock and an earn out.
Synthetic diamond maker Element Six acquired the assets and intellectual
property of Group4 Labs Inc. of Menlo Park, Calif., a semiconductor
wafer materials company.