Orange County Business Journal

Newport Corp. Buying Israeli Competitor

Chris Casacchia Friday, July 8, 2011

Irvine’s Newport Corp., which makes lasers and related equipment, is buying an Israeli equipment maker for $230 million, the company announced Friday.

News of the deal for Jerusalem-based Ophir Optronics Ltd., a maker of precision infrared optics, photonics instrumentation and three-dimensional measurement equipment, sent Newport shares up by about 1% in late New York trading to a market value of about $717 million.

The transaction, subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

“The acquisition will greatly strengthen Newport's position as a global leader in photonics instrumentation and provide a platform for us to enter high growth applications in thermal imaging and 3D non-contact measurement,” said President and Chief Executive Robert Phillippy. “Ophir has a history of impressive revenue growth.”

Ophir had revenue of nearly $112 million and operating income of $12.5 million through the 12 months through March.

It saw an annual growth rate in revenue of 19% from 2006 to 2010.

About 48% of its sales are in the U.S., 34% in Israel and Europe, and 18% in Asia, according to the company.

Ophir employs about 650 people worldwide, with manufacturing operations in Israel and U.S. and sales teams in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Its shares are traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

Newport makes lasers and equipment to control them for telecommunications equipment, chipmakers, researchers, medical devices and factory equipment.

It has yearly sales of about $480 million.