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Cognex to buy Japanese MV manufacturer Moritex for $275 million

30 Aug 2023

All-cash purchase to strengthen Cognex’s position in Japan’s machine vision and imaging markets.

Cognex, a developer of industrial machine vision, today announced it has agreed to acquire Moritex Corp. (Moritex) from Trustar Capital, a private equity affiliate of CITIC Capital Holdings, for ¥40 billion (around $275 million), in an all-cash transaction. Moritex is a provider of machine vision optics components and systems with a strong presence in Japan.

“At Cognex, we have long admired, and sold, Moritex optics components as an important element of what we do,” commented Robert Willett, President and CEO of Cognex. “Expanding into the optics components segment with this acquisition will increase our served market and deepen our penetration of the Japanese machine vision market.”

‘Eye and brain’

Willett added, “We often note that machine vision functions like the eye and brain of a human: Cognex vision systems are akin to the brain, and Moritex optics, the eye. Bringing these complementary technologies together will streamline the solution we provide our customers, enabling a more advanced and integrated offering.”

Cognex stated that Moritex “has established a reputation as an industry leader providing high-quality, standard optical components over its 50-year history.” The company develops and sells high-accuracy solutions for equipment manufacturers in a wide range of industrial markets.

Takao Sato, Moritex’s CEO, commented, “We are excited to join Cognex as we work towards our mission to provide the best optical solutions for our customers. Combining our best-in-class optics components with a global machine vision leader will create new opportunities for growth.

“This acquisition will position us to deliver our solutions to Cognex’s broad customer base, providing a more comprehensive machine vision offering. We remain committed to proactively serving and supporting our customers around the world.”

‘Largest acquisition’

Willett continued, “Moritex will be Cognex’s largest acquisition in our 42-year history. We are highly selective in evaluating potential acquisitions. Moritex exceeds our selection criteria based on its strategic fit, reputation, growth prospects, culture of innovation, and financial profile.”

Moritex is expected to contribute 6-8% of Cognex’s revenue, and the acquisition is expected to be accretive according GAAP EPS figures in 2025. The firm is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan and employs approximately 500 people.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2023, subject to customary closing conditions. Evercore acted as sole financial advisor to Cognex.

Canon launches ‘first’ high-sensitivity color camera with SPAD sensor

Japan-headquartered camera giant Canon Inc. is launching the MS-500 ultra-high-sensitivity ILC (Interchangeable-Lens Camera) equipped with the 1in SPAD (Single Photon Avalanche Diode) sensor featuring the world’s highest pixel count of 3.2 megapixels.

The new MS-500 camera is said by the manufacturer to be “the world's first ultra-high-sensitivity camera equipped with a SPAD sensor used for color video shooting, achieving a minimum subject illumination of 0.001 lux.”

The MS-500 will support applications such as advanced surveillance through clear video capture of subjects several kilometers ahead of the viewpoint, even in night time darkness.

Canon’s SPAD sensor uses photon-counting technology, which counts photons that enter a pixel. When incoming photons are converted to electric charge, they can be instantly amplified by around 1 million times and extracted as a large signal, making it possible to detect even small amounts of light.

TRIOPTICS GmbHBerkeley Nucleonics CorporationHyperion OpticsIridian Spectral TechnologiesLASEROPTIK GmbHCHROMA TECHNOLOGY CORP.Mad City Labs, Inc.
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