OPTICS - INDUSTRY REPORT

Spindler & Hoyer (Milford, MA) has changed its name and merged with four sister companies. LINOS Systemtechnik Holding GmbH has combined its subsidiaries into LINOS Photonics GmbH (Göttingen, Germany), specializing in optical components and systems, crystal optical systems, and electro-optics, including laser materials processing, microlithography, reprotechnology, and optical measurement. Also under the LINOS umbrella are Steeg & Reuter Präzisionsoptik GmbH, Gsänger Optoe

German optics company consolidates

Spindler & Hoyer (Milford, MA) has changed its name and merged with four sister companies. LINOS Systemtechnik Holding GmbH has combined its subsidiaries into LINOS Photonics GmbH (Göttingen, Germany), specializing in optical components and systems, crystal optical systems, and electro-optics, including laser materials processing, microlithography, reprotechnology, and optical measurement. Also under the LINOS umbrella are Steeg & Reuter Präzisionsoptik GmbH, Gsänger Optoelektronik GmbH & Co. KG, Franke-Optik Vertriebsgesellschaft, and LINOS GO Geschäftsführungs GmbH. The move lays the groundwork for a possible public offering.

ARO buys manufacturing tools from Thermo

Alpine Research Optics (ARO; Boulder, CO) has purchased the bulk of the optics-fabrication equipment from a former production facility in Grand Junction, CO, owned by Thermo Jarrell Ash Corp. (Franklin, MA). Thermo Jarrell Ash is a division of Thermo Optek (Franklin, MA), a subsidiary of Thermo Electron (Waltham, MA). The equipment, valued at more than $500,000, includes polishing spindles, curve generators, glass edgers, glass saws, metrology instrumentation, test plates, and more than 1000 different radius tools. The equipment, which has been moved to the ARO manufacturing facility, will be used to produce spherical optics with a wide range of diameters and radii of curvature.

Raytheon contract looks to the skies

Raytheon (Lexington, MA) has signed an $8.1 million contract to build an active optics system for a new high-resolution astronomical telescope. The Southern Astrophysical Research project, a partnership between the National Optical Astronomy Observatories (Tucson, AZ), the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, NC), Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI), and the country of Brazil, will install the telescope on Cerro Pachón in northern Chile. Raytheon will build the 4.2-m active primary mirror assembly, a 0.6-m secondary mirror assembly, a 0.4 x 0.6-m tertiary and image-stabilization mirror assembly, a central processor, and associated electronics and cabling. Work will be done at the Raytheon Sensors and Electronic Systems division (Danbury, CT).

Defense electro-optics company in merger talks

Elbit Systems Ltd. (Haifa, Israel), a subsidiary of Elron Electronic Industries Ltd. (Haifa), has signed an agreement in principle to buy Elop Electro-Optics (Rehovot, Israel), owned by the Federmann Group. Elop stockholders will receive 32.5% of the shares of Elbit Systems. The deal is scheduled to be complete by December 31. Elop, which has more than 1900 employees and had total 1998 revenues of approximately $300 million, supplies electro-optical products to the Israeli defense forces and other customers. Elbit Systems, which upgrades military systems and develops new defense applications, had sales of $414.7 million and net income of $27.8 million in 1998.

SVG buys thin-film-making group

Silicon Valley Group (SVG; San Jose, CA) has bought the Semiconductor Equipment Group from Watkins-Johnson (Palo Alto, CA). Total value of the sale, including retained receivables, is more than $70 million. The acquisition expands SVG thin-film offerings to the atmospheric-pressure chemical-vapor-deposition and thermal markets and gives the company access to the established Watkins-Johnson customer base in Asia. SVG will take over Watkins-Johnson facilities in Scott's Valley, CA, and Kawasaki, Japan. The acquired group will be merged with SVG Thermco Systems to create a new subsidiary, Silicon Valley Group, Thermal Systems (Scott's Valley).

Also in the news . . .

Axsys Technologies (Englewood Cliffs, NJ) has taken itself off the market. . . . APA Optics (Minneapolis, MN) reported a net loss of $2.5 million for FY1999. . . . Balzers Thin Films (Golden, CO), which recently added 16,000 sq ft to its plant, has signed a contract to manufacture and test a range of digital light-processing subsystems from Texas Instruments (Dallas, TX).

Neil Savage

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