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Mergers, Acquisitions and More

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Laura Marshall, Managing Editor, [email protected]

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.

JUNE 2012

Teledyne Technologies Inc. acquired all outstanding common shares of test solutions supplier LeCroy Corp. for approximately $291 million.

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.

JULY 2012

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 million).

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 consulting.


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 Ithaca.

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 targets.


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 technology.

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.

MARCH 2013

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.

APRIL 2013

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 amount.

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. 31, 2012.

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 million.

MAY 2013

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 business.

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.

Photonics Spectra
Aug 2013
The science of measurement, particularly of lengths and angles.
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