AMS buys Princeton VCSEL provider

March 20, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
Analog IC and sensors vendor AMS AG (Premstaetten, Austria) has agreed to buy Princeton Optronics Inc. (Mercerville, New Jersery), a supplier of vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) for up to $75 million.

Princeton Optronics is a profitable privately held company employing 37 people with an annual revenue run-rate of about $10 million. The transaction includes an upfront payment of $53.3 million in cash with an additional sum to be based 2017 and 2018 revenues, with a potential maximum value $75 million.

Princeton Optronics can provide light sources for a variety of optical sensors and projection systems and such components as time-of-flight sensors for 3D gesture recognition.

Princeton Optronics is located in a 30,000 square-foot facility with a clean room for optical device fabrication and a 10,000 square-foot optical manufacturing facility. It uses these facilities for low volume and US department of defense manufacturing and goes to foundry for larger volume manufacturing.

Princeton Optronics’ technology enables high temperature operation and delivers high power pulsed lasers and laser arrays which support future automotive and industrial applications. The use of VCSELs is expected to gain momentum in optical sensor solutions for the Human Machine Interface (HMI). Broader adoption of 3D sensing in mobile applications could accelerate market growth for VCSEL light sources in the coming years.

The transaction is expected to close within six months.

"Princeton Optronics is a strategic partner to AMS/Heptagon for optical sensing products already so we see a range of potential future synergies from this exciting combination," said Alexander Everke, CEO of AMS, in a statement. Heptagon is a high-end supplier of optical packaging services and optical sensing modules that AMS agreed to pay up to $850 millio to acquire in November 2016.

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