Bonn — The Carl Zeiss Group has sold 75.1 percent of its optronics division to EADS’ defense and security subsidiary, Cassidian, and wants to opt out of defense technology in the medium term.
The companies announced Friday that they had agreed to run the optronics and optics activities of Carl Zeiss Optronics jointly in the future. The deal was wrapped up in a contract signed on the same day between EADS Deutschland and Carl Zeiss AG.
Carl Zeiss Optronics, headquartered in the south German city of Oberkochen, is an international leader in the fields of optics and opto-electronics. With about 780 employees, it develops and manufactures optronic and optic products for military and civil use such as submarine periscopes or border surveillance systems. In fiscal 2011, the company generated revenues of about 160 million euros ($196 million).
“The acquisition of Carl Zeiss Optronics complements our existing industrial capabilities in the area of sensors, and will enable us in the coming years to develop an innovative, future-oriented and comprehensive ‘Sensor House’ which will provide the customer with complete sensor solutions from a single source and become well-established on the global markets,” Cassidian CEO Stefan Zoller said in a statement.
The agreement includes a site and job security guarantee until 2015. The company will be part of Cassidian’s Sensors and Electronic Warfare Business Line.
“In a market which has to cope with the drastically sinking defense budgets of NATO states and profound upheavals in regions such as Asia and North Africa, first-class market access and the strength of a globally leading company are among the most important factors for success,” Michael Kaschke, president and CEO of Carl Zeiss AG, said in the statement. “We are confident that optronics has better perspectives at Cassidian than at Carl Zeiss.”