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Business briefs

28 Oct 2005

Including news from Newport, SPI, Ealing, JPSA, Photon, Ericsson and more.

General company news:

•  Ericsson is acquiring selected parts of Marconi's telecommunications business for $2.1 billion. The deal includes Marconi’s optical networking, softswitch, broadband and data-networking businesses and is expected to generate additional sales of $1.8 billion for Ericsson.

•  Southampton Photonics (SPI), the UK developer of fiber lasers, has floated on AIM, a division of the London Stock Exchange, under the name SPI Lasers plc (trading symbol SPIL). On its first day of trading (26 October) the company raised £10.6 million ($18.9 million) net, resulting in a market capitalization of £25.5 million.

•  Newport is to sell its robotic systems operations, which serve the front-end semiconductor equipment industry, to an unnamed buyer. The firm will retain ownership of a number of key patents relating to the business. “This divestiture was one of the goals identified in the strategic review following our acquisition of Spectra-Physics in July 2004,” said CEO, Robert G Deuster.

•  View Engineering, a supplier of machine vision systems, has acquired fellow Californian firm Micro-Metric for an undisclosed sum. Micro-Metric is a maker of non-contact coordinate measurement systems for use in the semiconductor, data storage and MEMs industries. No changes in management or staffing of either company are planned and Micro-Metric will continue to operate from its headquarters in San Jose.

•  Beam profiling equipment maker, Photon says that it is on track for full RoHS and WEEE compliance. The European directives, which restrict the use of hazardous substances and legislate the disposal of electronic equipment, come into effect on 1 July 2006.


•  Cyberlux, a supplier of portable LED-based lighting systems, has been selected to supply the US Air Force with security lighting. The battery powered system can illuminate an exterior boundary of 250 x 300 ft and will be used to improve the security of assets such as aircraft while on the ground.

Distribution & Expansion:

•  The Pennsylvania-based Center for Optical Technologies, a partnership of US academic institutions, including Lehigh and Penn State Universities, and 12 industry-based member organizations, has opened its new Smith family laboratory for optical technologies. The $6 million facility will focus on the development of medical, sensor and display technologies.

•  Ealing Catalog, a US provider of optics and laser accessories, has opened a UK sales and distribution office at the Optic Technium Centre in North Wales. The site will act as hub for continued expansion into the European market.

•  JPSA, the UV laser specialist, has signed up Beijing Opto-Electronic Technology Co. Ltd (BOET) to sell and service JPSA laser systems in China. JPSA has already installed three UV systems in China and BOET is confident that it help increase sales. “We believe that JPSA’s systems will have a very promising future in China,” said Xue Fung, deputy general manager of BOET.

Universe Kogaku America Inc.LaCroix Precision OpticsTRIOPTICS GmbHBerkeley Nucleonics CorporationHÜBNER PhotonicsCeNing Optics Co LtdHyperion Optics
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