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Oerlikon sells Optics business at Balzers

Pfäffikon SZ, October 27, 2008 - OC Oerlikon is selling its Oerlikon Optics business unit at the Balzers site to the unit's management, supported by local private investors. The corresponding contracts were signed on Friday, October 24, 2008. Dr Uwe Krüger, CEO of OC Oerlikon, said: «We are consequently following up on our strategy to streamline the Oerlikon portfolio. In view of its size and focus on niche markets, the optical coating business in Balzers no longer fits into the OC Oerlikon business strategy. I'm convinced that with the MBO we have found the best solution for all stakeholders involved. The new management will continue to run the optical coating business successfully, especially as it enjoys the local support of private investors from Liechtenstein.»

OC Oerlikon is thus following up on its commitment to sell the Optics unit. Oerlikon Optics is a leading global provider of custom optical components and subassemblies. The Balzers-based optical coating business, including relevant technical plant and equipment, customer and supplier relationships, will be transferred to the new company. The newly constituted business posts annual sales in the region of CHF 35 million and has some 160 staff, which will all transfer to the new company. It will continue trading under the new name Optics Balzers AG from January 1st, 2009. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price. Separate discussions are ongoing with respect to the other two Oerlikon Optics businesses in Golden, Colorado (US), and Shanghai (China).

Designated CEO Martin Kaspar says the new name, Optics Balzers AG, shows a commitment to these core fields and to the company's location: "We benefit from a very good market position, and we will expand the traditional business in both existing and new attractive niche markets going forward. We see ourselves as a medium-sized company firmly anchored in the region." Dr Christoph Studinka, designated Chairman of the Board of Optics Balzers AG, explains the Board's fundamental strategic principles: "We want to make a long-term commitment as entrepreneurs and to help management shape a lasting and successful future for the business."

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