03 Jan 2003
A round-up of all the business news from the Christmas period.
• Thermo Electron, US, is to integrate its optics activities under the single brand of Spectra-Physics. The company will now include the Thermo-owned Laser Science, Opticon, Corion, Hilger Crystals, Richardson Gratings and imaging-camera business CIDTEC. Thermo says that the re-branding is the "single biggest brand merger in the history of the photonics industry".
• Northrop Grumman, the giant defense firm, has acquired Fibersense Technology for USD 44 million in cash. Fibersense makes navigation systems based on fiber optic gyroscopes and has around 140 employees. It will be integrated into Northrop's Navigation Systems Division in Woodland Hills, California.
• Hunno Technologies, a US specialist of fingerprint recognition technology, has started a joint development venture with Hyosung Corporation, a South Korean maker of bank teller machines. The tie-up will develop cash-vending machines that use biometrics to combat fraud.
• US-based medical laser companies PhotoMedex and Surgical Laser Technologies (SLT) have agreed to merge. PhotoMedex develops excimer laser and fiber-optic systems for dermatology, while SLT offers products and services across a variety of medical applications. Shares in the merged company will be traded under PhotoMedex.
• Fiber laser specialist IPG Photonics, US, has shipped a 6 kW source to a Germany-based automotive manufacturer. According to IPG, the air-cooled laser performed well in extensive tests at its Burbach, Germany, facility and was shipped in early December. The system is based on an ytterbium-doped fiber and operates at about 1.1;;micron.
• Amtech Systems, a US provider of production equipment for the semiconductor, optical components and solar cell industries, has reported fiscal 2002 revenues of USD 20.5 million, down USD 2.4 million on the previous year. Net income for the 12 months ended 30 September 2002 was USD 0.1 million.