Apple’s Face ID supplier has been acquired for $3.2 billion

By

VCSEL
The company that made Face ID possible has been snapped up.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Finisar, supplier of the laser scanners used to enable Face ID in Apple’s latest iOS devices, has been acquired for a reported $3.2 billion.

II-VI Incorporated, a leading producer of optoelectronic systems, announced its purchase on Friday. It expects to close the deal, which is expected to generate $2.5 billion in annual revenue, in mid-2019 following regulatory approval.

Every Face ID system inside an iPhone or iPad Pro relies on a VCSEL (vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser) to map a user’s face. They’re also required for things like Animoji. Those VCSELs have been supplied by Finisar since Face ID’s introduction in the iPhone X last year.

Finisar has become so important to Apple that the iPhone-maker donated $390 million from its billion-dollar Advanced Manufacturing Fund late last year to increase VCSEL production and boost research and development. Now Finisar has been snapped up by another company.

II-VI Incorporated coughs up $3.2 billion for Finisar

II-VI Incorporated confirmed on Friday that it will acquire Finisar in a cash-and-stock deal at a 37.7 percent premium on Finisar’s closing price from Thursday. The deal is expected to be worth around $3.2 billion, according to The Financial Times.

II-VI’s purchase will “unite two innovative, industry leaders with complementary capabilities and cultures to form a formidable industry-leading photonics and compound semiconductor company,” it said in a statement.

Finisar shareholders will own around 31 percent of the combined company, which is expected to generate approximately $2.5 billion in annual revenue, once the acquisition is complete. The purchase will also allow for $150 million in cost savings within three years.

II-VI is an American company, like Finisar, that produces optoelectronic components for high-power lasers, optical amplifiers, and more. It supplies the materials processing, communications, military, consumer electronics, and automotive industries.