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Mergers, Acquisitions and More

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June 2014 through May 2015

The latter half of 2014 saw significant moves in the global economy, bringing in low interest rates, a decline in oil prices and a stronger dollar. By the same token, however, virtually every other currency in the world devalued. And although economic numbers are always in flux, photonics continues to show its might.

The industry has a current global market of $510 billion and projected market value of over $766 billion in 2020, growing at a compound annual rate of 5.8 percent. Photonic technologies have a major impact on the world economy, with industry growth more than doubling that of the worldwide gross domestic product between 2005 and 2011.

Companies have kept up with the expansion trend, crafting dozens of mergers and acquisitions that show value in the market and a significant desire to make moves on the global stage. The opportunities for growth are clear.

Here’s a list of the mergers and acquisitions we saw during the 12-month period ending in May. 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.

Sarina Tracy, [email protected]

JUNE 2014

Leica Microsystems GmbH of Wetzlar, Germany, acquired its two Turkish distributors, Mikro-Optik Tibbi Malzeme Ithalat Ihracat ve Ticaret Limited Sirketi and Gantenbein Ticaret Mürsel Gelincik ve Ortagi Adi Komandit Sirketi.

ON Semiconductor Corp. of Phoenix acquired Aptina Imaging Corp. of San Jose, Calif., for $400 million in a push to expand its image sensor business.

Ty Guernsey, cofounder of Guernsey Coating Labs Inc., fully acquired the company, making it a completely woman-owned business.

Medical technology manufacturer Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. of Chicago announced plans to acquire Trumpf Medical Systems GmbH & Co. KG’s medical technology division.

3D scanning and inspection firm LMI Technologies of Vancouver, British Columbia, acquired GFMesstechnik GmbH of Berlin, a supplier of 3D metrology products.

Laser Components Group of Olching, Germany, acquired majority ownership of Microwatt Applications LLC of Stuart, Fla., in order to expand production of IR semiconductor detectors.

Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany, acquired liquid crystal windows specialist Peer+ BV of the Netherlands for an unspecified price.

JULY 2014

Amplitude Group of Pessac, France, maker of ultrafast lasers, acquired Continuum Electro-Optics Inc. of San Jose, Calif., from current owner GSI Group for a price of roughly $7 million.

Dortmund, Germany-based Temicon GmbH and Holotools GmbH of Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, merged to expand their portfolios of micro- and nanotechnologies produced with laser lithography.

Surface-imaging and metrology software firm Digital Surf SARL of Besançon, France, acquired Image Metrology AS of Hørsholm, Denmark.

Hexagon AB of Stockholm, a provider of design, measurement and visualization technologies, acquired Vero Software of Cheltenham, England.

Newport Corp. of Irvine, Calif., entered into an agreement to acquire V-Gen Ltd., a developer and manufacturer of pulsed fiber lasers headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Bruker Corp. of Billerica, Mass., acquired Vutara Inc. of Salt Lake City for an undisclosed amount.

Medical device giant Medtronic Inc. of Minneapolis acquired Visualase Inc. of Houston for $105 million.

Faro Technologies Inc. of Lake Mary, Fla., acquired law enforcement software firm The CAD Zone Inc. of Beaverton, Ore.


Seville, Spain-based Innovaciones Microelectronicas SL (trading as AnaFocus) was acquired by England’s e2v Inc. for €29.2 million (about $32 million).

Ametek Inc. of Berwyn, Pa., a global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices, acquired Amptek Inc. of Bedford, Mass., and Luphos GmbH of Mainz, Germany.

Sydor Instruments LLC
of Rochester, N.Y., acquired test equipment firm Sabre Ballistics of Caterham, England.

Meadowlark Optics Inc. of Frederick, Colo., acquired the Commercial Products Group of Lafayette, Colo.-based Boulder Nonlinear Systems Inc.


Fibercore Ltd. of Southampton, England, acquired Fibertronix of Hudiksvall, Sweden.

Laser Quantum Ltd. of Stockport, England, acquired Venteon Laser Technologies GmbH of Hannover, Germany, a manufacturer of few-cycle, ultrashort-pulse lasers.


Laserage Technology Corp. of Waukegan, Ill., acquired the laser processing and contract manufacturing divisions of Directed Light Inc.

JML Optical Industries LLC of Rochester, N.Y., acquired Harold Johnson Optical Laboratories Inc. of Gardena, Calif.

Thorlabs Inc. of Newton, N.J., acquired Corning, N.Y.-based Corning Inc.’s quantum cascade laser (QCL) business and associated optical semiconductor technologies research group, which produces QCLs for sensing, scientific and defense markets.

Radiant Zemax LLC of Redmond, Wash., sold its Zemax optical design software business unit to Arlington Capital Partners III LP, based in Washington, D.C.


The Jenoptik Group of Jena, Germany, acquired a 92 percent stake in road-safety technology firm Vysionics Ltd. of Frimley, England.

Telecommunications firm Huber+Suhner AG acquired Cube Optics AG of Mainz, Germany.

Electro Scientific Industries Inc. of Portland, Ore., entered into an agreement to acquire the Chinese laser design and manufacturing firm Wuhan Topwin Optoelectronics Technology Co. Ltd. for up to $18 million.

Seeking to branch out beyond military contracts, Optex Systems Inc. of Richardson, Texas, acquired Applied Optics Center, formerly a division of L-3 Communications Holdings Inc., for $1.01 million.


Looking to expand its presence in Asia, Corning Inc. of Corning, N.Y., reached a definitive agreement with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. to acquire its fiber-optics business in Gumi, South Korea, and Hainan, China.

Evatec AG of Trübbach, Switzerland, acquired Pfäffikon, Switzerland-based OC Oerlikon Corporation AG’s advanced technologies segment to expand its thin-film deposition systems business.

Koch Industries Inc. of Wichita, Kan., acquired Oplink Communications Inc. of Fremont, Calif., for $356.5 million.


Quantum cascade laser gas sensor firm Cascade Technologies Ltd. of Stirling, Scotland, was acquired by Emerson Process Management of St. Louis.

Emcore Corp. of Alhambra, Calif., completed the sale of its tunable laser and transceiver product lines to NeoPhotonics Corp. of San Jose, Calif., for $17.5 million.

Sheaumann Laser Inc. of Marlborough, Mass., acquired its sister company, Axcel Photonics Inc.

Corning Inc. of Corning, N.Y., acquired assets of advanced hyperspectral imaging systems developer NovaSol (Innovative Technical Solutions Inc.) of Honolulu.


Teledyne Technologies Inc. of Thousand Oaks, Calif., acquired Bowtech Products Ltd. of Aberdeen, Scotland.

Newport Corp. of Irvine, Calif., entered into an agreement to acquire Femtolasers Produktions GmbH of Vienna.

Faro Technologies Inc. of Lake Mary, Fla., furthered its movement into the law enforcement market with the $7.7 million acquisition of Aras 360 Technologies Inc. of Kamloops, British Columbia.

Ferro Corp. of Mayfield Heights, Ohio, acquired the privately held laser marking technology company TherMark Holdings Inc. of Irvine, Calif., for $5.5 million in cash.

MARCH 2015

Faro Technologies Inc. of Lake Mary, Fla., acquired Kubit GmbH of Dresden, Germany, and U.S. distributor Kubit USA Inc.

Meadowlark Optics Inc. of Frederick, Colo., acquired the spatial light modulator product line from Cambridge Research & Instrumentation Inc. of Hopkinton, Mass.

APRIL 2015

Hamilton Thorne Ltd. of Beverly, Mass., acquired the Oosight product line from Cambridge Research & Instrumentation Inc. of Hopkinton, Mass.

Aixtron SE of Herzogenrath, Germany, targeted commercialization of thin-film encapsulants for organic LEDs with the acquisition of PlasmaSi Inc. of Fremont, Calif.

Trumpf GmbH + Co. KG of Ditzingen, Germany, acquired JK Lasers Ltd. of Rugby, England, a subsidiary of GSI Group Inc. of Bedford, Mass., for approximately $31.5 million in cash.

Teledyne Technologies Inc. of Thousand Oaks, Calif., took full ownership of Optech Inc., a Vaughan, Ontario, Canada-based manufacturer of laser-based survey and digital imaging instrumentation.

MAY 2015

AFL Telecommunications LLC of Duncan, S.C., acquired the AFC Group Pty Ltd., a manufacturer, designer and integrator of fiber-optic and copper communication solutions with operations in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.

OmniVision Technologies Inc., headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., agreed to a $1.9 billion acquisition by Hua Capital Management Co. Ltd., CITIC Capital Holdings Ltd. and GoldStone Investment Co. Ltd., a group of Chinese private equity firms.

Nanotronics Imaging LLC of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, acquired Franklin Mechanical & Control Inc. of Hollister, Calif., a manufacturer of advanced mechanical and optical equipment.

Photonics Spectra
Aug 2015
The science of measurement, particularly of lengths and angles.

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