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CVI Melles Griot buys CIOL - the inside story

09 Oct 2007

Following CVI Melles Griot's acquisition of CIOL reported on optics.org last week, Marie Freebody speaks to CVI Melles Griot's CEO, Stuart Schoenmann, to find out more.

CVI Melles Griot has bought Coherent Imaging Optics (CIOL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Coherent that supplies infrared optical components for advanced thermal imaging and other electro-optic systems. Similar to CVI's acquisition of Melles Griot in July, this latest acquisition was an all-cash deal completed on 28th September.

The acquisition will give CVI Melles Griot access to unique coating and fabricating technologies such as magneto-rheological finishing, diamond turning, cleanable silver coatings, and environmentally rugged sputtered coatings. CVI Melles Griot will also benefit from having a large manufacturing facility in Europe dedicated to the manufacture of products for wavelengths above 3 µm.

"One of the attractive aspects of this acquisition is the complementary nature of the product ranges," Stuart Schoenmann, CEO of CVI Melles Griot, told optics.org. "Where CVI Melles Griot is predominantly active in the wavelength region below 3 µm, CIOL's business in Leicester, UK, is almost exclusively active above 3 µm."

According to Schoenmann, the acquisition comes at the right time given that the market segments served by the Leicester business, predominantly defense, safety and security, are enjoying significant and sustained growth across a variety of applications.

"The anticipation is that growth in the business will accelerate because CIOL's business in Leicester is in the right market segments at the right time," commented Schoenmann. "The Leicester business needed to be part of a significant organization to be a truly effective and valued supplier in today's precision optics market."

This acquisition is the latest in the company's strategy of expanding its products line, increasing capabilities and addressing growing market opportunities. "In recent years we have seen a substantial consolidation across our customer base, echoed by consolidation amongst a number of our competitors," explained Schoenmann. "It is critical to the future of the business and the quality of service we can offer our customers to stay at the leading edge of technology."

CIOL will benefit from being a significant manufacturing site within CVI Melles Griot's worldwide manufacturing organization. Robin Henderson, managing director for CIOL, will continue to head the new CVI Melles Griot division, and will report directly to Schoenmann. "We are excited to be joining the CVI Melles Griot family," he said. "We will be focusing on developing the site as CVI Melles Griot's Center of Excellence for infrared imaging optics fabrication and coatings."

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