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9 October 2007


nLight acquires fiber maker Liekki

High-power semiconductor diode laser manufacturer nLight Corp of Vancouver, WA, USA has agreed to acquire Liekki Corp of Lohja, Finland, which designs and manufactures specialty optical fibers and fiber subassemblies (optical engine modules) for fiber amplifiers and lasers used in industrial, aerospace, medical, military and telecom applications.

Founded in 2000, nLight's revenues have grown an average of 70% annually for the past five years (to about $50m); in September, it was named the fastest-growing technology company in Washington State in Deloitte & Touche USA LLP’s Technology Fast 50 program for 2007. It also claims to be the fastest growing company in the semiconductor laser market . Including its 60,000-square-foot plant in Vancouver, WA and its 6,000-square-foot nLight Laser Shanghai plant in China – and after acquiring Flextronics Photonics of Hillsboro, OR in August 2006 (which raised manufacturing area to 100,000 square feet) - the firm has about 270 staff.  nLight will retain some, but not all, of Liekki's employees, which number about 30.

The acquisition integrates core technology for the rapidly growing markets for semiconductor and fiber lasers, says nLight’s president and CEO Scott Keeney. Adding Liekki’s technology will enable nLight to make new products by combining its lasers with Liekki's specialty optical fibers to make fiber lasers.

“The combination of our technology and teams will provide customers with a complete supply chain from semiconductor lasers and fibers to optical modules,” says William Willson, managing director of the Fiber Division. “Liekki will bring its experience in fibers and modules; a unique, patented direct nanoparticle deposition (DND) fiber technology process; and a specialized manufacturing facility, which scales efficiently in this growing market.” 

nLight plans to manufacture new optical modules that will be brighter and more intense, and the flexible fiber will allow it to sell modules to markets that it has previously been unable to supply, including minimally invasive surgery and robotic automotive manufacturing functions such as heating and welding discrete parts.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of 2007. 

See related item:

nLight acquires Flextronics Photonics for high-volume integration

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