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ams to acquire VCSEL developer Princeton Optronics for up to $75 million

21 Mar 2017

Deal extends Austrian firm ams’s value chain in sensing solutions for mobile 3D sensing, AR-VR and automotive markets.

ams, a global developer of high-spec sensing and analog solutions, has signed an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares in Princeton Optronics, a provider of Vertical Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers (VCSELs) in an all-cash transaction, valued at between $53 and $75 million.

The transaction includes an upfront consideration of $53.3 million in cash and a substantial cash earn-out consideration related to realized 2017 and 2018 revenues, with a potential maximum earn-out value of $75 million. The deal is expected to be completed within six months, subject to required approvals.

This acquisition follows ams' July 2016 purchase of MAZeT, the Germany-based developer of color and spectral sensing systems, including multispectral devices.

Princeton Optronics develops and supplies high-performance VCSELs designed for mobile, consumer, automotive, and industrial applications.

In the mobile and consumer markets, Princeton has achieved “benchmark power efficiency and accurate control of beam divergence to create application benefits”, according to the purchase announcement.

VCSELs 'gaining momentum'

In automotive and industrial, Princeton’s technology enables high temperature operation and delivers high power pulsed lasers and laser arrays which support future automotive and industrial applications. The use of VCSELs is expected to gain momentum in optical sensor solutions for the human-machine interface (HMI). Broader adoption of 3D sensing in mobile applications could also accelerate market growth for VCSEL light sources.

The deal announcement explained that Princeton currently operates an outsourced high-volume supply chain with partners in Taiwan, the US and the UK. Headquartered in Princeton, NJ, with 37 employees, the company has an annual revenue run-rate of around $10 million and is profitable.

Alexander Everke, CEO of ams, commented, “Adding the illumination source expands our optical sensor solutions offering, with the light path optics covered by Heptagon and the light sensor including our filters.

“Leveraging this portfolio ams can now design and manufacture the most complete and differentiated optical solutions for future growth areas like mobile 3D sensing and imaging or automotive autonomous driving.

“Princeton Optronics is a strategic partner to ams/Heptagon for optical sensing products already so we see a range of potential future synergies from this exciting combination,” Everke added.

EKSMA OPTICSAVANTES BVPhoton Engineering, LLCScitec Instruments LtdDiffraction InternationalSynopsys, Optical Solutions GroupSACHER LASERTECHNIK GMBH
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