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OmniLit targets optics and photonics company for merger

01 Dec 2021

SPAC-financed ‘blank-check’ acquisition firm set up by Syntec Optics chairman Al Kapoor has just raised $144 M.

A newly financed “blank check” acquisition company focused specifically on optics and photonics technologies has begun its search for a merger target.

Miami Beach-headquartered OmniLit Acquisition, which last month raised $144 million via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) initial public offering, has been set up by entrepreneur and Syntec Optics chairman Al Kapoor.

“Having worked in the optics and photonics space for the past two decades I recognize great potential and want to bring growth capital to companies that can thrive,” Kapoor said in a company release.

“It is encouraging to see high demand in the public markets for our strategy to invest in light-enabled companies whose products and services represent roughly 11 per cent of the global economy.”

Trillion-dollar enabler
Citing figures compiled by optics.org publisher SPIE that estimate the annual value of light-enabled products and services to be worth $7-10 trillion, OmniLit says that the industry offers the opportunity to form a public company with a “multi-billion-dollar” valuation.

“There are many complementary counter-cyclical and diverse end-markets, many of which are growing at double-digit [growth rates],” stated the firm. “Optics and photonics companies serve as an enabler for next-generation technology industries, offering opportunity for low volatility growth of future earnings.”

OmniLit’s COO, Skylar Jacobs, added: “Optics and photonics is enabling next-generation technologies from biomedical devices, driverless cars, defense gear, displays, communications equipment, consumer goods, to much more.”

With the company’s IPO now completed, Jacobs says that OmniLit can deploy its “unique combination strategy” to find a compelling opportunity with stable and sustainable growth.

While Kapoor has been actively involved in the optics and photonics industry for more than two decades, 27-year-old Jacobs’ LinkedIn profile lists experience including two years as VP of business development and operations at the medical device startup PainQx, alongside work in consultancy, and as a golf instructor.

Disruptive forces
According to the OmniLit prospectus its CFO, Robert Nelson II, played a key role in regulatory compliance for the spin-out of an optics and photonics division from an unspecified public company, leading to a valuation of more than $1 billion.

Financial support for the OmniLit fundraising came from primary sponsor Imperial Capital, and I-Bankers Securities.

“We intend to leverage the significant operational and investment experience of our sponsor and board of directors to identify acquisition opportunities at the intersection of advanced manufacturing and optics and photonics,” continued the firm in its prospectus filing.

“We currently intend to concentrate our efforts in identifying high-quality businesses in the advanced manufacturing industry, specifically the photonics or optics products, services, and end markets, and related products, services, and end-markets.

“We believe there are disruptive forces in society creating increased demand for optics and photonics imagers, sensors, and detectors. Society is trending towards data everywhere, more intelligent automation, and light-based security.”

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