SYLMAR, CA--Recognizing the value of QPC Lasers’ laser-diode product portfolio and intellectual property (IP), a group of investors has assumed ownership of the complete assets of QPC Lasers (www.qpclasers.com). As we reported in January 2009, QPC Lasers is still very much alive even in the midst of financial difficulties, and continues developing laser-diode devices for the defense, medical, consumer electronics, and materials processing markets (see “QPC Lasers’ doors are still open” at www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/350587).
DMC + Olympia + 2
On June 10, private equity firm DMC Capital Funding, LLC announced the lead investment in the ownership group that acquired all assets of Quintessence Photonics Corporation, the operating subsidiary of QPC Lasers. DMC Capital Funding made the investment through its wholly owned subsidiary DMC Scientific, LLC. “DMC was the largest financial participant” in the deal, says Ely Tendler, a member of Olympia Group, the second-largest investor. According to Tendler, there are two additional, smaller investors that prefer to remain anonymous.
The group formed a new company, Laser Operations LLC, which will leverage its financial stability and the business and managerial experience of the new owners to support the Quintessence customer base. “The principals and senior management team of DMC Capital Funding and its affiliated companies are seasoned executives with decades of successful experience investing in and commercializing technology,” according to a statement from DMC. The statement also noted that the new owners intend to pursue high growth opportunities “uniquely suited for the market leading technologies and products acquired from Quintessence.”
DMC Capital Funding claims it is well positioned, has significant capital resources and through its affiliate DMC Worldwide, has deep operational expertise, as well as a mature and robust manufacturing, supply chain, marketing and distribution infrastructure.
Tendler described Olympia’s participation in terms of a “roll-up-your-sleeves” role. With his own background in legal affairs, Tendler said the executives of the less-than-six-month-old Olympia have a long working relationship and had been looking for investment opportunities where they could provide hands-on operations expertise. He said his company has deep experience that comes from managing multi-billion dollar revenue streams. For instance, he said, one of the members headed up the largest fiber-optic employer in Moscow (in the former USSR) with more than 4000 employees.
QPC team: critical value
But even while he emphasized the financial and management expertise of the new ownership group, Tendler was careful to note the importance of participation by the QPC staff--which is at a “skeletal” level with less than 20 members now, compared with 2–3 times that many at its peak. Tendler said all have been offered positions with the new company.
Tendler said that QPC founder and CTO “Jeff Unger is joining the new company, and the rest of the technical and sales team all are coming over.” His leadership team at QPC also includes Wentao Hu as VP engineering, and VP marketing and sales, Laurent Vaissié.
Asked whether the new company, Laser Operations LLC, will hang onto the QPC name, Tendler says it is too early to say. “The product names, BrightLase and BrightLock, will definitely stay,” he said. “The line branding is the question.”
QPC Lasers will be exhibiting at Laser Munich.