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Kyocera acquires Melles Griot's Japanese operation

02 Aug 2016

IDEX subsidiary sold for $19 million in all-cash transaction.

IDEX Corporation, the diversified industrial equipment company that acquired optical components firm Melles Griot for $400 million back in 2011, is set to sell the Japanese element of the business.

Kyoto-headquartered Kyocera has agreed to Melles Griot KK for $19 million in cash, with the deal expected to close within weeks.

IDEX made no mention of the impending transaction in its quarterly results announcement last month, but in its latest '10-Q' filing with the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), the Lake Forest, Illinois, firm said it had entered into a definitive agreement to sell the division, free of both debt and cash.

Melles Griot’s Japanese wing was said to have generated sales of around $19 million last year, although the profitability of the business unit was not disclosed by IDEX.

Kyocera said that it expected the deal to be completed at the start of September. The addition of Melles Griot KK would expand the company’s existing optical components offering under its Kyocera Optec subsidiary.

Kyocera Optec’s current product line-up includes telecentric, aspheric, and cylindrical lenses, aimed largely at the automotive sector, as well as machine vision, medicine, and semiconductor chip production.

Machine vision and semiconductor priorities
The Japanese company stated: “Particularly in the factory automation market, it is expected that efforts to further streamline and [automate] production processes will intensify worldwide.

“Moreover, demand is expected to grow for optical components which are incorporated into production equipment such as ‘machine vision’ and ‘robot vision’ that help image recognition, positioning, measurement, and product inspection.”

The Melles Griot expertise in fabricating large, high-precision lenses is expected to find strong demand in machine vision applications, with Kyocera saying that it plans to strengthen the product line-up.

The company will also focus on building sales in the market for semiconductor wafer production equipment, where Melles Griot optics are used in front-end processes. That complements Kyocera’s existing footprint in back-end production tools.

“By combining the two companies’ strengths, Kyocera will be able to offer products covering the whole manufacturing process,” stated the Japanese firm.

According to Kyocera, the Melles Griot KK unit employed 54 people as of last month.

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