Finisar could move Allen staff to Sherman by end of 2019

The Finisar Corp. production facility in Sherman could see the addition of 200 workers from the company’s Allen facility by the end of the year. During a …

The Finisar Corp. production facility in Sherman could see the addition of 200 workers from the company’s Allen facility by the end of the year.

During a ribbon cutting event for the local facility in July, Finisar CEO Michael Hurlston told the Herald Democrat he had informed staff in Allen that eventually their 160,000-square-foot facility will be shuttered and moved to the nearly 700,000-square-foot building in the former MEMC building on Sherman’s south side. Finisar Sherman General Manager and Vice President Jeff Brown said in December that could happen by the end of this year.

“We are planning to move the Allen operation to Sherman by the end of 2019 or beginning of 2020,” Brown said via email last month.

Hurlston previously stated Finisar plans to make Sherman the “VCSEL Capital of the World.” In July, Hurlston said the Sherman facility “has plenty of room to house” the equipment in the company’s Allen plant.

“What we’ll do is all the equipment from Allen that’s dedicated to our old optical networking business, we’ll keep dedicated to that and then all the equipment that’s here (in Sherman) that’s new — that’s called the six-inch production line — will be on these new consumer applications,” Hurlston said.

Finisar announced in December 2017, it would hire 500 new employees to expand its production of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers at its new Sherman facility to help meet Apple’s demand for the technology in its iPhone line. VCSELs are small semiconductor devices that emit light vertically and measure the depth at which that light is reflected. That depth-sensing technology helps power Apple product features such as facial recognition, portrait mode selfies and proximity-sensing capabilities.

In addition to the numerous smartphone applications, Finisar Executive Vice President and General Manager of 3-D Sensing Julie Eng previously said VCSELs could soon be put to use in new markets such as medical and manufacturing, to make vehicles safer for drivers and other motorists and even in vacuum cleaners and lawnmowers.

“We’re trying to go into these more consumer applications and without (the) Sherman (facility), we simply can’t do that,” Hurlston said in July. “What happens is our old business, which is the laser business and optical networking, typically you think of an order of hundreds of thousands of units in a month. The volumes are big, they’re substantial, but when you talk about these consumer applications, you’re talking millions of units even a week, so the numbers are wildly different. And in order to deliver that kind of scale, we need a factory like this — a bigger factory that can deliver that kind of capacity.”

Brown said in December the company has hired 250 employees and expects more will be added as the facility moves toward commercial production. The company shipped out its first samples in the fall. Brown said Finisar’s total investment in the Sherman facility is expected to be approaching $200 million by the end of 2019.

“The factory space in Sherman has been completed,” Brown said via email. “We are now focusing on adding office space and modernizing the existing office space. We expect to continue some level of construction through most of 2019.”

Acquisition

In November, it was announced Finisar is to be acquired by global manufacturer of engineered materials and optoelectronic components II-VI Incorporated in a deal worth about $3.2 billion. In a teleconference call held following the announcement, Hurlston said he believes the combined company will have substantial growth potential.

“By joining II-VI, I’m confident that we’ll be able to accelerate our growth in ways that neither of our teams could achieve as independent companies,” Hurlston said. “Further, we believe this transaction represents a compelling value composition for Finisar shareholders as it delivers immediate cash value while providing the opportunity to participate in the significant upside potential of our combined organizations once the transaction is completed.”

The definitive merger agreement, which has been approved by the boards of both companies, states II-VI will acquire Finisar in a cash and stock transaction that will see Finisar’s stockholders receiving, on a pro-rated basis, $15.60 per share in cash and 0.2218 shares of II-VI common stock.

Brown didn’t directly address any impact the potential acquisition by II-VI would have on the Sherman facility, but indicated VCSEL production will continue locally.

”As we have communicated to our employees, we continue to believe that Sherman is a world class facility and is expected to deliver high volume VCSEL output for years to come,” Brown said.

During the teleconference call, II-IV President and CEO Vincent D. Mattera Jr. said the merger will create a formidable photonics and compound semiconductor company.

“We believe that combining with Finisar will enable us to be even more effective as we accelerate the development of our portfolio of products in the emerging markets of 5G, 3D sensing, cloud computing, electric and autonomous vehicles and advanced microelectronics manufacturing,” Mattera said.

Mattera said the combined company plans to utilize its existing operations to the best of their capabilities. Once the transaction closes, Finisar and II-VI will have over 24,000 employees in 70 locations worldwide. Finisar Director of Corporate Communications Victoria McDonald said, in a prepared statement issued via email at the time of the announcement, the company expects the transaction to close in the middle of 2019, subject to approval by each company’s shareholders, antitrust regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

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YEAR IN REVIEW: Sherman saw businesses, attractions added in 2018

Finisar. Finisar Corp., which bought the former MEMC building last year and … Finisar announced in December of last year it would hire 500 new …

Sherman started and ended 2018 by working on tax abatements for some prominent local employers and saw a number of things happen in between that will leave a lasting impact on the city.

New attractions and businesses opened, the city recycling program got an overhaul and Sherman residents re-elected their mayor and added a new face to the City Council.

Finisar

Finisar Corp., which bought the former MEMC building last year and announced plans to create 500 new high-skill jobs in Sherman, was again a major newsmaker for the city in 2018. The council approved a 10-year tax abatement and a five-year Chapter 380 tax rebate agreement for the electronics components manufacturer in March.

Finisar announced in December of last year it would hire 500 new employees to expand its production of VCSELs at its new Sherman facility this year to help meet Apple’s demand for the technology in its iPhone line of products. VCSELs are small semiconductor devices that emit light vertically and measure the depth at which that light is reflected. City staff estimated the tax abatement agreement would save the company around $3.3 million in property taxes, and the tax rebate agreement would save it around $1.2 million.

“Assuming a level investment of $140 million at the current tax rate, the city will realize about $2.7 million in property taxes, and Finisar will receive a benefit of about $3.3 million,” Director of Finance Mary Lawrence said of the tax abatement agreement before discussing the tax rebate agreement. “A tax abatement may only last for 10 years, including extensions, so we grant additional incentives after the tax abatement period expires. The additional five years is about $3 million total in property taxes — the city realizes about $1.8 million of that, with Finisar getting the benefit of about $1.2 million.”

The five-year tax rebate agreement will see the city giving a grant back to Finisar after its full tax bill is paid in years 11 through 15.

In July, Finisar held a ribbon cutting ceremony for its new facility after six months of work. Finisar Chief Executive Officer Michael Hurlston said the company’s production of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers will open new opportunities for the manufacturer.

“The company is moving from a great history to a new set of things that we’re trying to do,” Hurlston said. “But the main thing today is we’re open for business in Sherman, and we expect to be hiring and bringing jobs to the local community.”

Then in November, it was announced Finisar is to be acquired by II-VI Incorporated, a global manufacturer of engineered materials and optoelectronic components, in a deal worth about $3.2 billion. In a teleconference call held following the announcement, Hurlston said he believes the combined company would have substantial growth potential.

Recycling changes

The council decided to alter Sherman’s Recycling Program to only accept cardboard and newspapers during its meeting on Oct. 15, but then revised it again three weeks later and made it optional for residents. The program allows residents to recycle aluminum, tin and steel cans, paper and certain plastic bottles, and cardboard and newspapers.

Sherman’s issue with its Recycling Program started earlier in the year when China, which had long been the largest buyer of recyclables in the world, started an anti-pollution program that requires waste paper, metals or plastic be 99.5 percent free of contaminants like food waste or foam cups. The Associated Press reported U.S. single-stream recycling processing plants usually turn out bales of paper or plastic that are at most 97 percent pure. During the council’s first discussion of the change, Lawrence said Sherman’s recyclables are about 40 percent polluted.

Tax abatements

The council approved a five-year property tax abatement for J.P. Hart Lumber Co. during its first meeting of the new year on Tuesday. With Hart Lumber investing $8 million in its Sherman facility, the abatement agreement is expected to provide a $68,000 benefit to Hart Lumber over those five years.

The Sherman City Council approved an eight-year property tax abatement agreement with GlobiTech Inc. in August contingent on its corporate board approving a planned expansion to include a capital investment of $23 million on a 78,000-square-foot facility building that includes 10,000 square feet of cleanroom space and the addition of $24 million in equipment. The expansion is also expected to include the addition of 32 new jobs to the company’s current total of 247 employees.

City staff estimated the agreement would save the local GlobiTech facility an estimated $800,000 during that time. Two months later, GlobiTech officials said it was delaying the planned $47 million expansion.

“GlobiTech received HQ approval for the Fab 3 project but has determined that we now need to take a more cautious approach on initiating the project in light of the recent U.S.-China trade/tariff situation,” GlobiTech Inc. President Mark England said in a written statement. “Nevertheless, in this interim period, GlobiTech continues to move forward by completing our air permit requirements and finalizing our Fab 3 designs to be able to restart in earnest upon seeing positive market and political signs.”

New additions

In mid-October, Texoma got its first QuikTrip convenience store in a 5,858-square-foot Sherman location on the southwest corner of FM 691 and U.S. Highway 75. The store is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and has around 20 employees.

That addition was quickly followed by the unveiling of Sherman’s remodeled skate park at Hawn Park in late October. A series of public meetings throughout the year provided local input on the $250,000 renovation done by SPA Skateparks of Austin.

The city opened its first dog park in early December with a ceremony that saw a number of city officials and area canines attending. The new dog park area is located behind Veteran’s Field in the northwest corner of Fairview Park.

The city also unveiled its renovated Sherman Public Library in August after spending nearly $2 million on the project, which was slated even before the building was damaged by a series of intentional fires in April 2017. Renovations included the demolition of a 3,300-square-foot addition on the building’s south side, expanded parking, new roofing, heating, cooling and electrical systems systems, as well as a new fire alarms, restroom layouts, furniture and shelving.

Developers of the Schulman’s Movie Bowl Grille entertainment complex in Sherman broke ground on its new building in June. In addition to the 72,995-square-foot entertainment complex, the development will include a large Lone Star Food Store gas station and convenience store on the southeast corner of U.S. Highway 75 and FM 1417, along with a hotel and convention center on the south side of the development and two smaller businesses along the Hwy. 75 service road that developer Mark Schulman said will likely be restaurants. Developer Mark Schulman said he hopes to have the entertainment complex opened by the middle of May.

In early December, the council also approved a contract with Dean Construction to serve as construction manager-at-risk for the Pecan Grove Athletic Complex project. Dean Construction took on the risk for the work for a guaranteed maximum price of $3,938,495.48. Assistant City Manager Steve Ayers said he expected work to start on the project within weeks of the approval.

Budget, personnel

As part of the 2018-2019 fiscal year budget, city staff left Sherman’s property tax rate and utility rates unchanged from the 2017-2018 year. The budget approved by the council also included the addition of 22 new city positions and a 3 percent across the board raise for all 457 Sherman employees.

During the municipal election in November, Sherman voters elected new council member Sandra Melton, and re-elected returning council member Willie Steele and Mayor David Plyler.

Then in December, City Manager Robby Hefton announced the appointment of Terrence Steele as Sherman’s second assistant city manager. Steele had served as director of administration through a contract with Strategic Government Resources, an administrative management consulting group, for the last year.

“Over the course of the last year, Terrence has been a valuable addition to our team,” Hefton said in a press release. “He has a wealth of experience and knowledge related to workforce and economic development, and his time as a member of the Sherman City Council gives him a really unique perspective on our City operations. His standing in the community and his ability to establish and maintain relationships is a reflection of the high character he brings to public service.”

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Finisar being purchased for $3.2B by II-VI Incorporated

Less than a year after moving into Sherman, Finisar Corp. is being acquired by a global manufacturer of engineered materials and optoelectronic …

Less than a year after moving into Sherman, Finisar Corp. is being acquired by a global manufacturer of engineered materials and optoelectronic components in a deal worth about $3.2 billion.

II-VI Incorporated and Finisar announced the acquisition in a recent joint-released press release. In a teleconference call held following the announcement, Finisar CEO Michael Hurlston said he believes the combined company would have substantial growth potential.

“By joining II-VI, I’m confident that we’ll be able to accelerate our growth in ways that neither of our teams could achieve as independent companies,” Hurlston said. “Further, we believe this transaction represents a compelling value composition for Finisar shareholders as it delivers immediate cash value while providing the opportunity to participate in the significant upside potential of our combined organizations once the transaction is completed.”

The definitive merger agreement, which has been approved by the boards of both companies, states II-VI will acquire Finisar in a cash and stock transaction that will see Finisar’s stockholders receiving, on a pro-rated basis, $15.60 per share in cash and 0.2218 shares of II-VI common stock.

II-IV President and CEO Vincent D. Mattera Jr. said the merger will create a formidable photonics and compound semiconductor company.

“We believe that combining with Finisar will enable us to be even more effective as we accelerate the development of our portfolio of products in the emerging markets of 5G, 3D sensing, cloud computing, electric and autonomous vehicles and advanced microelectronics manufacturing,” Mattera said. “Together we will be capable of serving the broad set of fast-growing markets of communications, consumer electronics, military, industrial processing lasers, automotive semiconductor equipment and life sciences.”

Finisar announced late last year that it would hire 500 new employees to expand its production of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers at its new Sherman facility this year to help meet Apple’s demand for the technology in its iPhone line of products. VCSELs are small semiconductor devices that emit light vertically and measure the depth at which that light is reflected. That depth-sensing technology helps power Apple product features such as facial recognition, portrait mode selfies and proximity-sensing capabilities.

II-VI develops innovative products industrial, optical communications, military, life sciences, semiconductor equipment and consumer market applications, and has a headquarters in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania.

“This merger should create substantial growth potential for the combined company,” Sherman Economic Development Corp. Executive Vice President Stacey Jones said via email. “With room to grow at our Finisar Sherman facility, this seems to be a great opportunity for Sherman.”

When Mattera was asked about his expectations of the evolution of the 3D sensing market after the transaction during the teleconference call, he said the combined company’s focus is on getting the manufacturing platform in place to be able to offer the marketplace differentiated products made on those platforms.

“Thinking about the product portfolio and the next generation of lasers and optics that will be required for the marketplace is where we’re going to spend more of our time as we get the manufacturing technology platforms in place,” Mattera said. “I think we’ve done a real good job of that in the United States, in our Warren, New Jersey facility and — as far as I can tell since I had an opportunity to visit the Sherman and Allen plants just in the last few weeks or so — I’m excited to see the efforts that are going on in Sherman and the hard work that the team are doing in Allen as well.”

The II-VI president and CEO also said the company plans to utilize its existing operations to the best of their capabilities. Once the transaction closes, Finisar and II-VI will have over 24,000 employees in 70 locations worldwide.

Finisar Director of Corporate Communications Victoria McDonald said, in a prepared statement issued via email, the company expects the transaction to close in the middle of 2019, subject to approval by each company’s shareholders, antitrust regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

“Finisar is excited about our joint announcement to combine with II-VI,” McDonald said. “We have no other updates to provide at this time.”

Hurlston said II-VI has been a supplier to Finisar for quite some time, but declined to comment when asked about VCSEL production in Sherman.

“Unfortunately, we’re in our quiet period, so I don’t want to talk about our numbers and anything directionally with our business,” Hurlston said.

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Finisar to be acquired in $3.2 billion deal

The Financial Times is reporting optical products company II-VI (“Two-Six”) plans to acquire Finisar in a $3.2 billion deal. Tech giant Apple invested …

SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) – Finisar, the laser company that moved to Sherman earlier this year, is being purchased by another company.

The Financial Times is reporting optical products company II-VI (“Two-Six”) plans to acquire Finisar in a $3.2 billion deal.

Tech giant Apple invested nearly $400 million in Finisar for its VCSEL technology, which is being manufactured at its Sherman plant.

II-VI makes laser and optical components and announced Friday they will buy Finisar for about $3.2 billion.

In a statement, II-VI says it plans to expand its reach into consumer electronics and possibly self-driving cars and says this acquisition will help with that.

Finisar moved into the old MEMC building on South US Highway 75 earlier this year.

A spokesperson for Finisar would not comment on the status of the Sherman location or the people who work there.

The deal is expected to close in the middle of 2019, pending shareholders’ approval and other conditions.

II-VI will pay Finisar shareholders $26 per share in cash and stock.

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Finisar being sold to competitor

SHERMAN, Texas — Finisar, the high tech sensor manufacturer with a new facility in Sherman that makes key components for Apple iPhones, …

SHERMAN, Texas — Finisar, the high tech sensor manufacturer with a new facility in Sherman that makes key components for Apple iPhones, announced Friday it’s being purchased by a competitor.

Finisar said it has entered a merger agreement with II-IV Incorporated, which is headquartered in Pittsburgh.

The value of the cash-and-stock transaction was estimated by the companies to be $3.2 billion.

“We have long admired Finisar and have a great deal of regard for its founders and its talented global team,” said II-VI CEO Vincent Mattera in a written statement. “We look forward to welcoming Finisar to the II-VI family and further strengthening our competitive position in the industry.”

According to the companies, the combination will make them competitive with the newly-merged MKS Instruments and Electro Scientific Industries in the photonics and compound semiconductor segment.

“The merger should create substantial growth potential,” said Stacey Jones, executive vice president of the Sherman Economic Development Corporation. “With room to grown at our Sherman Finisar facility, it seems like a good opportunity for Sherman.”

Finisar cut the ribbon on its new 700,000 square foot campus in Sherman last July. It builds 3-D Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser sensing components used in the latest Apple iPhone products for facial recognition. Finisar also has a manufacturing facility in Allen, Texas.

“I had an opportunity to visit the Sherman and Allen plants just in the last few weeks or so,” Mattera said in a conference call announcing the merger Friday morning. “I’m excited to see the efforts that are going on in Sherman and the hard work that the team are doing in Allen as well.”

The companies said they expect the merger to be complete in the middle of 2019. Jones said it should have a positive impact on Grayson County.

KTEN’s Amelia Mugavero contributed to this report.

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