Industry consolidation tops October news

WORLDWIDE-This month, there have been at least five major announcements of acquisitions in the photonics industry, including:

Oct 15th, 2007

WORLDWIDE-This month, there have been at least five major announcements of acquisitions in the photonics industry, including:

TRUMPF acquires AFM

Laser system manufacturer TRUMPF (Farmington, CT) has acquired 100% of Advanced Fabricating Machinery (AFM), Canada. AFM was formed on July 1, 1997 by TRUMPF and Robert Watson as an equal joint venture. The recent acquisition of AFM contributes to TRUMPF’s leadership position in the field of fabricating and laser technology in North America. “Ten years ago, TRUMPF Inc. entered into a venture with Advanced Fabricating Machinery that has since turned into a very successful relationship,” said Rolf Biekert, president and CEO of TRUMPF. AFM will serve the Canadian market with sales of its fabricating equipment and will also act as a spare parts facility for TRUMPF products.

II-VI takes majority stake in HIGHYAG

Semiconductor maker II-VI Inc. (Pittsburgh, PA) executed a definitive stock purchase agreement whereby a wholly owned subsidiary of II-VI will acquire 74.9% of the equity interests of HIGHYAG Lasertechnologie (Berlin, Germany) in exchange for cash. The remaining 25.1% of HIGHYAG will be owned by Bjoern Wedel, CEO of HIGHYAG, who will remain with HIGHYAG as managing director after the acquisition by II-VI. HIGHYAG, founded in 1995, designs and manufactures automated equipment to deliver high-power 1-µm laser light for cutting, drilling, and welding applications. Francis Kramer, CEO and president of II-VI, said, “This acquisition will enable us to supply components into the fiber-laser market, and is a further extension of the competencies we have in providing a wide range of optical components for industrial-laser applications.”

nLIGHT to acquire LIEKKI

Diode-laser manufacturer nLIGHT Corporation (Vancouver, WA) signed a definitive agreement to acquire specialty fiber manufacturer LIEKKI Corporation (Lohja, Finland). “This is a very important acquisition that integrates critical technology for the rapidly expanding markets for diode and fiber lasers,” said Scott Keeney, nLIGHT president and CEO. “Combining the nLIGHT and LIEKKI product portfolios will bring compelling solutions to our industry. Our plan is to invest in the Lohja, Finland operation as our fiber center of excellence.”

ARO acquired by Saint-Gobain Crystals

Alpine Research Optics (Boulder, CO), a supplier of high-performance coated optics, has been acquired by Saint-Gobain Crystals for an undisclosed amount. Saint-Gobain Crystals, which is part of the $52 billion worldwide Saint Gobain organization, also includes business units that produce optical raw materials including laser crystals, sapphire, and fused silica. “Saint-Gobain has spent the last several years building a world class operation covering a diverse range of optical materials,” said Peter Tibbetts, general manager, Saint-Gobain Photonics. “ARO can now leverage this expertise and offer finished coated components based on Saint-Gobain crystalline materials.”

CVI Melles Griot acquires CIOL

Newly formed CVI Melles Griot (Albuquerque, NM) acquired Coherent Imaging Optics Ltd. (CIOL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Coherent. CIOL has been a supplier of infrared optical components for advanced thermal imaging and other systems for over 20 years. According to Stuart Schoenmann, CEO of CVI Melles Griot, the acquisition enables CVI Melles Griot to meet customer demand with local manufacturing for defense contracts and provides new capabilities to manufacture infrared imaging optics and assemblies. “This acquisition increases our infrared optics manufacturing capacity, brings us unique coating technologies, and further strengthens our European manufacturing presence,” he said.

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