German Federal Cartel Office says "no" to Coherent acquisition of Excel Technology

Oct. 26, 2006
October 26, 2006, Santa Clara, CA--Coherent received a prohibition order from the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO; Bonn, Germany) regarding the proposed acquisition by Coherent of Excel Technology (East Setauket, NY).

October 26, 2006, Santa Clara, CA--Coherent received a prohibition order from the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO; Bonn, Germany) regarding the proposed acquisition by Coherent of Excel Technology (East Setauket, NY). The acquisition had previously been approved by antitrust authorities in the United States. None of the multiple remedy proposals offered by Coherent to the FCO addressing the overlap in the low-power carbon-dioxide laser market were satisfactory to the FCO, according to a Coherent statement.

"While we are clearly very disappointed and disagree with the FCO's decision, we remain committed to accomplishing acquisitions that meet all our criteria for growth, diversification and financial performance," said John Ambroseo, Coherent's president and CEO. "Coherent remains focused on executing on the underlying fundamentals of our business and meeting the future needs of our customers."

Coherent is one of the largest employers in the German photonics industry, according to market analyst John Harmon at Needham (New York, NY), who described the low-power CO2 laser market, which would have been dominated by the Coherent-Excel combination, as the "sticking point" in the transaction. Harmon questioned the FCO decision however, describing it as "a politically motivated act to shelter the German domestic laser industry."

Information for this article was gathered from Coherent and Needham.

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