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QPC Lasers: back from the brink

05 Jun 2009

The high-power laser-diode manufacturer has been rescued by an unknown group of investors.

QPC Lasers, the Californian maker of high-power laser diodes, has emerged from near-bankruptcy to continue operating under new ownership.

On 1 June, a limited-liability corporation (LLC) known as Laser Operations acquired all of the assets belonging to Quintessence Photonics Corporation, the operating subsidiary of QPC Lasers, Inc.

According to its official statement, the new company will "leverage its financial stability and the deep business and managerial experience of its ownership group to support the customer base acquired from Quintessence".

It will pursue applications in the medical, industrial, defence and consumer display markets, which it sees as uniquely suited for the semiconductor laser technologies and products acquired via the deal.

No details about the new owners are available yet, although a spokesman for QPC indicated that they comprise senior managers and executives from related niches within the high-technology sector.

Back in late 2008, bankruptcy proceedings had looked imminent for QPC. On 12 October, the company was forced to suspend operations and cut employee numbers to a minimum after failing to raise sufficient funding to continue.

Later the same month, QPC failed to make an interest repayment on a secured promissory note held by its senior creditor, Finisar.

With further defaults on secured convertible debentures following, and Finisar's legal representatives demanding repossession of QPC assets, a bankruptcy filing appeared inevitable.

But on 13 May, the previously unknown Laser Operations emerged to acquire all of Finisar's rights under the loan agreement, worth about $6m in total.

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) dated 19 May, Laser Operations then arranged to conduct a public sale of QPC assets at a Los Angeles law firm – scheduled for 1 June.

Following that event, at which Laser Operations made a successful bid of around $750,000 for the remaining assets, QPC was reborn under the new ownership structure. It now intends to show off its laser products at the LASER World of Photonics trade show, which takes place later this month in Munich, Germany.

Under its new guise, the company will exhibit its high-power Brightlase and Brightlock fibre-coupled products for surgical, sensing and pumping applications.

• This story first appeared on compoundsemiconductor.net.

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