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In the first transaction, Newport signed an agreement to sell the contact metrology section piece of the metrology business -- primarily related to its CEJohansson subsidiary -- to Hexagon AB (Nacka Strand, Sweden). Hexagon, a multinational engineering company, is parent company of Brown and Sharpe (North Kingstown, RI). Newport is in negotiations to sell its U.S.-based noncontact business to a separate buyer.
"A key growth strategy of our company has been to expand Newport's product portfolio and services in order to become a leading single-source supplier of test, measurement and automation solutions to the fiber optic communications and semiconductor equipment markets," says Robert G. Deuster, Newport's chairman and chief executive officer. "Divesting our metrology business, which primarily serves end markets outside of our strategic focus, will allow us to more aggressively deploy Newport's resources to those areas that hold the greatest growth potential for our company."
According to Deuster, the structure of the transactions will allow Newport to retain rights to certain visual inspection and metrology technology. That, in combination with recent acquisitions that have enhanced the company's overall vision technology portfolio, will enable Newport to maintain the expertise in visual inspection and metrology technology that it needs to pursue its strategic markets, Deuster concludes.