Optics Industry Report

Dec. 1, 2004

StockerYale to acquire Navitar for $25 million

StockerYale (Salem, NH) reached an agreement in principle to acquire Navitar (Rochester, NY) and its California subsidiary, Navitar Coating Labs, in a transaction valued at approximately $25.5 million. Navitar is a manufacturer and supplier of optical lens systems and customized optical solutions for the machine-vision and biomedical-diagnostics industries. The acquisition is anticipated to close before the end of the fourth quarter of 2004.

With the acquisition of Navitar, StockerYale is expected to achieve combined revenues of $43 million for 2004. The business combination will also have an immediate positive impact on earnings and cash flow. In addition, StockerYale has identified significant opportunities for product development, marketing and sales synergies, expanding the scope of its target markets.

“Increasingly, customers are requiring cost-effective solutions integrating illumination components and optical lenses to detect defects or perform critical measurements,” said Mark Blodgett, chairman and CEO of StockerYale. “In addition, the acquisition of Navitar will position StockerYale in the rapidly growing market for LCD and DLP projectors.”

PPGI purchases MRC Precision Metal Optics

Photonic Products Group (PPGI; Northvale, NJ) has acquired the stock of MRC Precision Metal Optics (Sarasota, FL) in a cash transaction. PPGI has retained the MRC workforce, including its founder and president, Frank Montone. MRC will operate from its current location as a wholly owned subsidiary of PPGI and will do business as MRC Precision Optics, a PPGI company. According to Dan Lehrfeld, president and CEO of PPGI, MRC complements PPGI’s Laser Optics and INRAD optical component product lines.

Established in 1983, MRC is an integrated precision metal optics and optical assembly manufacturer. The company provides precision CNC and diamond machining, polishing, plating, beryllium machining, and opto-mechanical design and assembly services. In addition, MRC has developed custom processes to support prototype through high rate production quantities of large flat mirrors, thermally stable optical mirrors, reflective porro prisms, low- RMS surface finish polished mirrors, diamond machined and precision aspheric and plano mirrors, and arc-second accuracy polygons and motor assemblies.

Mirrors upgrade terawatt laser performance

Optical Surfaces (Surrey, England) supplied two ultra-high-precision mirrors to the U.K. Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) to help upgrade the performance of the HELEN terawatt laser facility (Aldermaston, England). By converting one of the HELEN beams to subpicosecond pulse operation using chirped pulse amplification, AWE recently achieved 100-terawatt output. To make best use of this enhanced power, the highest quality achievable off-axis parabolic focusing mirror was required to maximize beam intensity while keeping the target outside the beam aperture.

NSF funds glass research at Lehigh

Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA) received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish an international research center supporting research into glass. The International Materials Institute for New Functionality in Glasses (IMI) will sponsor research into six new potential uses for glass: glassy metamaterials, including novel glasses and nanocomposites; functional coatings; glasses engineered for strength; ionic functionality; optical functionality; and biofunctionality. Applications of these include arrays of micro- and nanolenses, 3-D information storage, optical sensors and displays, glasses engineered for toughness, glass for DNA analysis, glass films for viewing x-rays, micro- and nano-electronics, glasses on which bacteria cannot grow, and glasses for hydrogen storage. The IMI, a collaboration between Lehigh and Penn State University (University Park, PA), will receive $3.25 million over the five-year lifetime of the NSF grant, which is renewable. - Kathy Kincade

For more business news, subscribe to Optoelectronics Report. Contact Jayne Sears-Renfer at [email protected].

Also in the news…

Optimum Optical Systems (Camarillo, CA) received a new contract from DRS Optronics (Melbourne, FL) for the Infrared Mast Mounted Sight Dual Field of View Lens Assembly on the U.S. Army’s OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters; total contract to date amounts to $2.8 million. The MMS is an integrated, multisensor electro-optical sighting system using visible and advanced infrared technology to gather imagery and target acquisition data during day and night under harsh battlefield conditions.… Optical-filter manufacturer Semrock (Rochester, NY) has been awarded U.S. Patent 6,809,859 covering the one-piece construction of its BrightLine fluorescence filters. According to the company, the construction-made possible by advances in thin-film-filter technology-is key to achieving the high brightness and reliability of these filters.

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