Coherent acquires Iolon assets

Improving manufacturability and package design are two compelling reasons behind Coherent’s decision to purchase the assets of Iolon, a developer of tunable lasers and filters.

SANTA CLARA, CA - Improving manufacturability and package design are two compelling reasons behind Coherent’s decision to purchase the assets of Iolon, a developer of tunable lasers and filters. Coherent paid $5 million in cash for all of Iolon’s assets and “none of its liabilities,” according to John Ambroseo, president and CEO of Coherent.

“In order to enable broader markets for photonics, it is essential that we further improve the robustness of our products, while reducing their size and cost," Ambroseo said. "We believe that the technology and intellectual property that we have acquired from Iolon will assist us in achieving these objectives.”

Coherent intends to utilize the acquired technology in its core portfolio, especially for products in the instrumentation and display markets. In particular, the company plans to utilize Iolon’s expertise in packaging to build products that are smaller and have longer lifetimes. Coherent also sees opportunities for Iolon’s tunable laser technology outside of the telecom market.

“Iolon was one of the few companies that was actually deploying broadly tunable transmitters into the marketplace,” Ambroseo said. “These products didn’t suffer from performance, but they were caught in the price-volume trap. So we have acquired these products but have no interest in being in the optical telecom market. Our interest is to apply the packaging technology to our core portfolio.”

Iolon’s physical assets will be transferred to Coherent’s existing Santa Clara facilities. Some of the Iolon staff will also move to Coherent.

In related news, Coherent reported net sales of $133.8 million and net income of $5.3 million ($0.17 per diluted share) for the fourth quarter (ended October 1). Net sales and net income for the corresponding prior year quarter were $133.2 million and $9.4 million ($0.31 per diluted share), respectively. Year-to-date net sales are $516.3 million and net income of $39.9 million ($1.28 per diluted share), compared to the prior year period net sales of $495.0 million and net income of $17.4 million ($0.57 per diluted share).

-Kathy Kincade

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