Trumpf acquiring SPI Lasers

Trumpf GmbH + Co. KG of Germany (www.trumpf.com), a technology group that makes laser-based products and solutions for materials processing applications, will acquire UK-based fiber laser maker SPI Lasers for approximately $49 million in cash.

SPI Lasers makes optical fiber-based lasers for marking, welding, and cutting materials used in the manufacture of products for industrial, medical, and research applications. The company was founded in 2000 based on technology developed by the University of Southampton's Optoelectronics Research Centre and is located in Southampton, England. It currently employs about 170 people, and reported revenues for 2007 of about $23 million.

Trumpf said the deal, made through a holding company, Trumpf International Beteiligungs GmbH, will enable it to quickly establish a significant presence in the fiber laser market. The company said it intends to put SPI Lasers' growth on the fast track and develop its Southampton facility as a center for excellence in fiber lasers.

"While the overall market for industrial lasers is expected to grow further in the future, particular growth is expected in the lower power range, an area in which SPI Lasers’ products have already established a strong market presence. The broad product portfolio of SPI Lasers in the fiber laser segment would complement Trumpf’s existing product and technology platforms and create a stronger combined industrial laser offering,” Peter Leibinger, vice chairman of the managing board and head of the Laser Technology and Electronics Div. of Trumpf said.

SPI Lasers' board supports the takeover, Trumpf said, and have unanimously recommended that shareholders accept it.

"Whilst we are proud of our achievements to date, there is no doubt that with the support of the Trumpf organization we can take the business to a higher level and be a major player in this exciting sector," Dr. David Parker, chief executive officer of SPI Lasers said.

Graham Meek, non-executive chairman of SPI Lasers, said that while the company has made strong technological and commercial progress, the takeover by Trumpf will help it to better compete in today's challenging market conditions and intensifying competition from large, well-capitalized players.

The acquisition is also expected to benefit optoelectronics group Jenoptik AG of Jena, Germany, Trumpf's partner since July 2007 in a joint venture to provide optical engines for fiber lasers, JT Optical Engine GmbH + Co. Trumpf said Jenoptik's Laser & Material Processing Div. will be given access to SPI Lasers' patents and know-how, and that SPI will work with JT Optical Engine on fiber laser development.

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