Monday, December 24, 2018

TRUMPF acquiring VCSEL laser diode maker Philips Photonics

TRUMPF GmbH of Ditzingen, near Stuttgart, Germany is acquiring Philips Photonics GmbH of Ulm, Germany, a wholly owned business of Royal Philips of Eindhoven, The Netherlands that provides vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) technology for datacom, consumer and industrial applications.
Established in 2000 as ULM Photonics GmbH and acquired by Philips in 2006, Philips Photonics in November announced its third production capacity expansion in the last three years (to be completed within the next 18 months).

With about 13,400 employees, TRUMPF makes machine tools, laser technology and electronics for industrial manufacturing. The firm says that the acquisition opens up a new market segment for it in addition to its existing business with high-power diode lasers as well as expanding its product portfolio. Employing about 280 people, laser diodes from Philips Photonics are used in, for example, smartphones, digital data transmission, and sensors for autonomous driving. As well as its manufacturing facility in Ulm, Philips Photonics also has sites in Aachen, Germany, Eindhoven in The Netherlands, and sales offices in Shenzhen, Shanghai and Qingdao in China.

“We want to open up new product fields and expand our existing portfolio at a strategically important point,” says TRUMPF’s CEO Nicola Leibinger-Kammüller. Through the acquisition, the firm should expand its access to fast-growing markets in the photonics and digital products sectors.

“Philips Photonics employs a large number of very good developers who have opened up new areas of photonics and who will strengthen our research and development area in the long term,” comments chief financial officer Lars Grünert, member of the group’s management board responsible for the new TRUMPF product sector. “Together, we want to further develop the Photonics division.” In its past fiscal year 2017/18, TRUMPF has invested €337m in R&D (a development ratio of 9.5%).

“Since our foundation in 2000, we have grown strongly. More than half a billion cell phones worldwide are equipped with laser diode technology from Philips Photonics,” notes Philips Photonics business leader Joseph Pankert. Becoming part of TRUMPF “will ensure that the division can continue to grow in a highly innovative company in the future,” he adds.

The acquisition is expected to be completed in second-quarter 2019. Authorities still have to approve the acquisition.

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