GSI Group rebrands laser division as JK Lasers, cutting laser systems biz

GSI Group is rebranding its laser division back to its original JK Lasers, amid a broader restructuring of its laser businesses.

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GSI Group (NASDAQ: GSIG) is changing the name of its laser division to JK Lasers, amid a broader restructuring of its laser business.

JK Lasers merged with Lumonics of Canada in 1982; both were bought by General Scanning (GSI) in 1999 to form GSI Lumonics. After selling the Lumonics brand technologies the company's laser segment was renamed to GSI Group's "laser division." JK Lasers makes and sells Nd:YAG, CO2, and as of 2007 fiber lasers. Earlier this year it added a multi-kW fiber laser to its portfolio.

The renaming and rebranding "is a return to our roots," stated JK Lasers GM Mark Greenwood. "We enjoyed strong growth during the first half of this year and we expect to sustain this performance throughout the remainder of 2012."

The laser division rebranding follows another shift within GSI Group: days ago it announced with its 2Q12 financial results that its semiconductor systems and laser systems businesses will be redefined as "discontinued operations" going forward.

GSI has several laser companies and technologies in its portfolio: JK Lasers, Synrad, Continuum, Quantronix, Control Laser and Control Systemation. The "laser systems business" that is being discontinued refers to Control Laser and Control Systemation. (The other discontinued operations are MicroE Systems and its semiconductor capital equipment for DRAM repair and circuit trimming.)

In GSI Group's 2Q12 conference call, CEO John Roush noted that the company's fiber laser business was "tripling" but cautioned that such high growth numbers come from a much smaller base and are not yet "a huge % of actual revenue." Still, though, he noted that "in a few more quarters" GSIG's fiber business would exceed the entirety of JK Lasers' business, as customers in industrial materials processing (mostly in Asia, particularly in China) seek to convert from Nd:YAG systems to fiber lasers.

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