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Business briefs

19 Mar 2007

Featuring news from Cree, Cotco, Ionatron, Lexitek, Arcelor Mittal, Noble International, Zygo, Quantapoint, Teraxion, Anvanex, Polatis and others.

• LED lighting developer Cree is to acquire Hong Kong-based Cotco Luminant Device ("Cotco"), one of China's major suppliers of high-brightness LEDs. The deal is a combined stock and cash transaction valued at $200 million. Cotco will provide Cree with strategic access to China's increasingly important and fast-growing solid-state lighting market. It will also provide Cree with a low-cost manufacturing platform and help it to leverage its expertise in LED chips, allowing it to offer more value-added products in LED screens, signage and solid-state lighting. Cotco Holdings will receive $70 million in cash and 7.6 million shares of Cree stock valued at $130 million. An additional consideration of $125 million is tied to the Cotco business achieving specific financial targets over the next two years.

Ionatron a Laser Guided Energy (LGE) company developing "next-generation directed energy weapons", this week reported financial results for Q4 and full year ended 31 December 2006. Revenue for the fourth quarter of 2006 was approximately $1.4 million ($6.1 million for the same period in 2005). Revenue for 2006 totalled $10 million, compared to approximately $19 million for 2005. The decreases in revenue were attributed to the completion of certain Ionatron government contracts related to the company's counter-IED (Improvised Explosive Device) technologies and "slower than expected" contract awards for its core LGE-related projects.

Lexitek recently shipped its 100th phase plate, made using its Near Index Match technology, to defence and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin. The phase plates offer affordable, precise optics and are used in a variety of applications such as simulating atmospheric turbulence, thermal distortion or aero-optical effects that require adaptive optics correction. The phase plates are fabricated by CNC machining optical plastic and casting a second polymer material against it. They offer a wide range of optical path differences (OPDs) from 0.2–50 µm for visible to near-infrared (400–1600 nm) light with OPD accuracies to 0.02 µm rms. Combined with Lexitek's motorized rotary stages and controllers, they offer a turnkey solution for rigorously simulating propagation and imaging with static or dynamic aberrations.

Arcelor Mittal and Noble International, North America's largest producer of laser-welded steel products, have signed a definitive agreement to combine their laser-welded tailored blanks businesses. Arcelor Mittal will receive from Noble, in exchange for its laser-welded blanks business in Europe, China, India and the US, consideration of $300 million, which will consist of a combination of cash, a Noble note and assumption of certain TBA financial obligations and almost 9.4 million Noble shares with an agreed value of $18 per share. Upon completion, Arcelor Mittal will become the largest stockholder of Noble, owning approximately 40% of the issued and outstanding common shares. Arcelor will also obtain four of the nine seats on Noble's board of directors.

Zygo, a developer of optical metrology instruments and high-precision optical systems, has reported that its Tucson, Arizona, US, operation has received "ISO 13485:2003" certification, which permits medical product manufacturing. "This certification provides a critical building block for our continued growth in the high-precision medical device market," said John Stack, president of Zygo's Optical Systems Division. "The Tucson operation produces a number of high-precision medical laser delivery and imaging-based systems in conjunction with its sister design and prototyping facility in California."

• Industrial laser-scanning company Quantapoint has completed 6,000 such scans in a single month, which it claims is "300% more" than any other company performing laser scanning. "Quantapoint leads the way in innovation for existing conditions measurement technology, such as creating the first 360° laser scanner, the first software for displaying and extracting dimensional information from laser-scan images, and the first technology for integrating laser-scan data into complete interactive laser models," said Eric Hoffman, CEO.

Fibre news
TeraXion, a developer of performance-defining OEM products for the generation and conditioning of light signals in telecoms, defence and aerospace, and industrial sectors, has announced the commercial deployment of its fixed dispersion compensation products, the ClearSpectrum DCX> The client is Siemens' DWDM transmission platforms Surpass HIT 7300 and Surpass HIT 7500. "Our relationship with TeraXion is an integrated part within our next-generation optics strategy," said Uwe Fischer, vice-president of DWDM product management at Siemens Networks. "Surpass hiT 7300 allows carriers to build their network capacity as bandwidth demand dictates, starting from very small deployments and upgrading in service to complexe all-optical meshes carrying up to 3.2 Tbit/s per fibre pair."

People
Avanex, a pioneer of intelligent photonic solutions that enable next-generation optical networks, has appointed Pat Edsell to be senior vice-president and general manager. Edsell is responsible for the company's product development centre in Shanghai and the company's transmission, components and modules, and advanced modules and subsystems business units.

Polatis, a manufacturer of optical switches, has appointed two senior executives to its international sales force. The expansion comes as Polatis is experiencing rapid growth in demand for its optical-switch technology from a variety of sectors. Garland Shinn, previously vice-president of sales at Nettest, joins Polatis as director of the Sales, Test & Measurement Group, as the company looks to cement its leadership in the North American market and to grow sales internationally. Vernon Brokke, formerly with Juniper Networks and Sycamore Networks, joins Polatis as director of the Sales, Federal Systems Group.

Radiant Imaging CEO Ron Rykowski has promoted Douglas Kreysar to the newly created position of chief operating officer. Previously, Kreysar had been vice-president of operations at Radiant since 2001. In his expanded role, Kreysar will be responsible for all internal operations of the company, including manufacturing, quality, legal, finance, engineering and human resources.

DataLase, originator of the award-winning DataLase process has appointed board member Trevor Bailey to the position of chairman. Previously a non-executive director at DataLase, in his new capacity as chairman Bailey will ensure that the relationship between new and current investors, board members and management is maximized. He will also provide assistance to the company by using his packaging experience and contacts to help the business grow. Already an active board member, Bailey will continue to work closely with executive management to increase the presence of DataLase and the DataLase product range within the global market.

Covega, a provider of opto-electronic components and subsystems, has this week announced that Michael Scott joined Covega's board of directors. Scott brings over two decades of optical communications and semiconductor experience to Covega. As the vice-president of technology and optical components for Nortel Networks, between 1996 and 2002, Scott pioneered the development of new and disruptive technologies and products, thus helping to create the foundation for Nortel's global leadership in optical networks markets.

Edmund OpticsEKSMA OpticsISUZU GLASS, INC.Ealing UGPhotonics NorthSynopsys, Optical Solutions GroupSpectrum Scientific Inc. -  SSI Optics
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