Optics Industry Report

May 1, 2000
Entering telecom market, Zygo acquires Firefly Technologies; Ocean Optics acquires spectrophotometer maker; New markets help Burleigh Instruments expand

Entering telecom market, Zygo acquires Firefly Technologies

Zygo (Middlefield, CT) has signed a letter of intent to buy Firefly Technologies (Holliston, MA) in a stock transaction valued at approximately $100 million. Firefly makes process measurement equipment for the telecommunications and optical-data-storage markets. Under the terms of the letter, Zygo will issue approximately 2.3 million shares of its common stock in exchange for outstanding capital stock. The deal should close in second-quarter 2000. As a result of the merger, Firefly will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Zygo and will become the foundation of a new division to be named Zygo TeraOptix. Firefly makes heads and related products for the optical storage industry, but its greatest value in the current market comes from its manufacture of metrology equipment, micro-optics, switches, and filters for telecommunications. Its revenue for the year ended Dec. 31, 1999, was approximately $3.1 million.

Ocean Optics acquires spectrophotometer maker

Optical-sensing-systems manufacturer Ocean Optics (Dunedin, FL) has acquired the Guided Wave Process Analytical Systems Group of UOP LLC (El Dorado Hills, CA). The company, which will continue operations at the El Dorado Hills location, manufactures on-line visible and near-IR spectrophotometric process systems for industrial and laboratory applications. The Guided Wave acquisition is Ocean Optic's third major business expansion in less than six months. The firm recently licensed a process for producing precision patterned dichroic optical filters and also acquired the assets of Continental Optical, a manufacturer of optical components and coatings for military applications and commercial use.

New markets help Burleigh Instruments expand

Burleigh Instruments (Fishers, NY) has broken ground on a 16,000-sq ft addition to its existing 18,500-sq ft facility. The addition will cost $1.5 million and will be complete in third-quarter 2000; Burleigh also plans to add 21 technical jobs in the next three years. Recognized for its piezoelectric actuators and scientific instruments, Burleigh is now making its presence known in the fiberoptics telecommunications and biotechnology markets.

X-ray optics is focus of Rigaku growth

Rigaku/USA (Danvers, MA) has bought Osmic (Troy, MI), a maker of x-ray optics. Rigaku makes x-ray diffraction and fluorescence instruments, semiconductor diffraction and fluorescence tools, and related devices. Osmic's optics are incorporated in analytical instruments used for material analysis, lithography research, medical sample analysis, and high-energy physics. Osmic had long been a supplier of x-ray optics to Rigaku and other companies and will still operate as an independent business.

Richardson Grating Laboratory expands production into WDM markets

A longtime maker of large ruled and holographic diffraction gratings, Richardson Grating Laboratory (Rochester, NY), is entering the wavelength-division-multiplexing (WDM) market. It has begun a manufacturing expansion for the production of telecommunications-grade replicated diffraction gratings for multiplexers/demultiplexers, add/drop routers, and power meters. A new high-volume grating-replication process will aid the company in its aim to meet the high demands of the industry.

Also in the news . . .

Precision Optics (Gardner, MA) has increased its recently announced placement of common stock from $22.9 million to $27.4 million to acquire additional equipment and facilities to increase production of dense WDM optical filters and other telecommunications products. . . . APA Optics (Blaine, MN) has raised $5 million to expand production facilities, sales, and marketing of its dense WDM-based product line, as well as for other purposes. . . . The Jobin Yvon-Horiba group (Stanmore, England) has moved its JY Raman headquarters in Lille, France, to another site in town that includes greater production and manufacturing capacity, updated R&D facilities, and a spectroscopy demonstration area.

W. Conard Holton

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

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