Optics Industry Report

Aug. 1, 2005
CVI Laser (Albuquerque, NM) acquired Optical Components (OCi; Covina, CA). This is the first acquisition for CVI Laser since partnering with Norwest Equity Partners (Minneapolis, MN) in May 2003.

CVI acquires OCi

CVI Laser (Albuquerque, NM) acquired Optical Components (OCi; Covina, CA). This is the first acquisition for CVI Laser since partnering with Norwest Equity Partners (Minneapolis, MN) in May 2003. OCi had been a family-owned business since it was founded in 1971 and was a supplier to customers such as Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Company, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. According to CVI, this acquisition allows CVI to integrate key OCi technology and capacity and to pursue opportunities in the defense and aerospace markets.

M-Flex acquires assets of Applied Optics

Multi-Fineline Electronix (M-Flex; Anaheim, CA), a provider of flexible printed circuit and value-added component assembly solutions to the electronics industry, has entered into an agreement with Applied Image Group (Rochester, NY) and its subsidiary, Applied Optics (Tucson, AZ), to purchase for approximately $6.3 million in cash substantially all the assets of Applied Optics, which designs and manufactures optical and photonic imaging solutions.

M-Flex plans to operate the business as a wholly owned subsidiary under the name Aurora Optical Inc. According to Philip Harding, M-Flex’s chairman and chief executive officer, the purchased assets of Applied Optics include intellectual property comprised of patents and expertise related to the engineering, prototyping and manufacturing of optical components and photonic modules-such as those used in cell phones.

Bausch & Lomb to grow R&D center in Rochester

Bausch & Lomb (Rochester, NY) chairman and CEO Ronald L. Zarrella announced a major expansion that will nearly double the eye-health company’s main research and development center in Rochester, NY. The $35 million project includes $25 million for new construction and $10 million for renovations, equipment, and machinery.

The new, two-story, 75,000-sq-ft glass-and-brick wing will house laboratories and offices and allow room for a future 25,000-sq-ft addition. The company will add up to 200 research jobs over the next two years as it continues to increase its investment in new product research and development.

Labs and universities purchase nanofab tool

Molecular Imprints (Austin, TX) has developed a nanoscale lithography tool based on its step-and-flash imprint lithography (S-FIL) technology and has sold its system to a number of prominent nanotechnology centers. These centers include the Molecular Foundry at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley, CA), the University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX), and the Pennsylvania State Nanofabrication Facility (State College, PA).

Molecular Imprints has commercialized S-FIL, which is a room-temperature, low-pressure step-and-repeat nanoimprint process that has demonstrated sub-20-nm resolution. In the technique, a mold whose features are derived from electron-beam lithography is pressed into a polymer that is then cured with UV light passing through the polymer. The resulting structures can be incorporated in nanodevices, microstructures, advanced packaging, bio-devices, optical components, and semiconducting devices.

Danaher to acquire Leica Microsystems

Danaher (Washington, D.C.) signed a definitive agreement to purchase Leica Microsystems (Wetzlar, Germany) from LM Investments. The purchase price amounts to an enterprise value of approximately €450 million (US$535 million).

Leica Microsystems is a leading global designer and producer of high-tech precision optical systems for the analysis of microstructures. The company offers system solutions in the areas of life science including biotechnology and medicine, as well as the science of raw materials, industrial quality assurance and the semiconductor industry.

Wiley and OSA form publishing partnership

John Wiley & Sons (Hoboken, NJ) and the Optical Society of America (OSA; Washington, D.C.) have signed an agreement to publish a new cobranded series of books under a joint Wiley-OSA imprint. Under this multiyear agreement, Wiley and OSA will collaborate to publish five to ten new titles a year for the optics, optical engineering, and photonics market. The first books under this new imprint are expected for publication in 2007.

Also in the news . . .

CVI Technical Optics (Onchan, Isle of Man) signed an exclusive distribution agreement with BFI Optilas (www.bfioptilas.avnet.com) covering the distribution of CVI’s products in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the Netherlands. . . . Breault Research Organization (Tucson, AZ), the optical engineering firm, announced continuation of the company’s status as a Senior Industrial Affiliate of the University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL).

Gail Overton

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