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Newport to Sell Robotic Systems Ops

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IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 26 -- Newport Corp., a supplier of solid-state lasers, photonic instrumentation products and sub-micron positioning systems to the semiconductor, communications, electronics, research, and life and health sciences markets, said it will divest itself of its robotic systems operations, which it has reflected as discontinued operations since the first quarter of 2005. Terms were not disclosed.

Located in Richmond, Calif., the company's robotic systems operations serve the front-end semiconductor equipment industry with wafer-handling subsystems such as atmospheric robots, load ports and equipment front-end modules.

Newport will retain ownership of the high-precision motion stage systems manufactured in Richmond, and will continue to sell, service and support these products, which generate $4 million to $5 million a year in sales revenue.

"This divestiture was one of the goals identified in the strategic review we undertook following our acquisition of Spectra-Physics in July 2004, and will allow us to serve the semiconductor equipment industry more profitably in the future with our core product lines. We will also be retaining ownership of a number of key patents relating to robotic systems," said Newport Chairman and CEO Robert G. Deuster.

Robotic systems operated at a loss in the third quarter of 2005, the company said, as the result of an adjustment to reduce the carrying amount of the assets disposed to reflect the expected consideration for the sale, less estimated costs to divest.

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Oct 2005
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...
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