Luxium’s Future is Crystal Clear

Luxium’s Future is Crystal Clear

SK and Edgewater formed Luxium in December 2022 to buy the scintillation and photonic crystals business of publicly traded Saint-Gobain

PLX specializes in the development and production of monolithic optics, an optical component made from a single piece or material that is used to manipulate light through focusing, directing, and splitting.

SOURCE: Getty Images

Luxium Solutions, a portfolio company of SK Capital Partners and Edgewater Capital Partners, has acquired PLX Inc. and PLX UK, Ltd. from Tinicum. The buy of PLX is Luxium’s first add-on acquisition under SK and Edgewater ownership.

SK and Edgewater formed Luxium to acquire the scintillation and photonic crystals (SPC) business of publicly traded Saint-Gobain for $214 million in December 2022. At that time, the annual revenues for the SPC business were approximately $80 million with an estimated EBITDA of $16 million resulting in a 13.4x valuation multiple.

Scintillation crystals are materials that absorb gamma photons and convert some of their energy into visible light and ultraviolet photons. In layman’s terms, these materials emit light when they absorb particles or electromagnetic waves.

Source: Luxium Solutions

Scintillation crystals are widely used in radiation detection applications, as well as in photonics and power electronics applications using sapphire (for harsh environments) and garnet substrates.

Luxium has more than 650 customers and its products are used in medical imaging, security and border protection, semiconductors, aerospace and defense, and energy applications. The company has a portfolio of 174 patents and is vertically integrated with capabilities in crystal purification and growth, cutting and finishing, packaging, electronics integration, and research and development. Luxium is headquartered 40 miles southeast of Cleveland in Hiram, Ohio, with five additional manufacturing facilities in Newbury, Ohio; Milford, New Hampshire; India; and France.

PLX specializes in the development and production of monolithic optics, an optical component made from a single piece of material that is used to manipulate light through focusing, directing, and splitting. Compared to traditional optics made from multiple pieces, monolithic optics are more compact and offer higher performance and reliability and improve signal quality, reduce signal loss, and increase data transmission speeds.

Source: PLX Inc.

Monolithic optics are used in telecommunications, data centers, aerospace and defense applications where precise control of light is essential for transmitting data efficiently.

Specific applications that use PLX products include military fire control systems, bore sighting, beam alignment and delivery systems, laser tracking, environmental monitoring, metrology, and satellite ranging. PLX also provides sub-system and system integration services including Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) and Free Space Optics (FSO) applications.

Customers of PLX include some of the world’s largest space and defense contractors, and scientific laboratories. The company is led by Itai Vishnia and is headquartered on Long Island in Deer Park, New York.

“We believe Luxium is the right partner for PLX in its next phase of growth. Luxium and PLX share a strong alignment in their go-to-market strategies emphasizing collaboration with customers to develop customized solutions. Furthermore, it’s clear that both companies share common values grounded in scientific excellence, quality, and customer satisfaction,” said Mr. Vishnia, who will continue to lead the PLX group within the Luxium portfolio.

Source: PLX Inc.

“We are thrilled to partner with PLX’s experienced team of technical experts, believing the acquisition will greatly enhance the value and breadth of solutions we can offer to our customers,” said Michael Cahill, CEO of Luxium. “Both Luxium and PLX bring complementary technical expertise in applied material sciences to enable the applications of our customers. The partnership represents a step change in the expanded scope of offerings to the demanding needs of our customers. The PLX team is comprised of renowned experts in light manipulation and laser tracking and beam alignment, bringing a wealth of knowledge in optomechanical engineering and systems integration expertise which is supported with a portfolio of intellectual property.”

“The PLX partnership progresses our vision of broadening Luxium’s detection enabling technologies offering. Both companies are true market leaders and experts in enabling mission critical applications with material science-based solutions. We look forward to continuing to build and broaden our solution offering and stellar scientific foundation,” said Mario Toukan, a managing director of SK Capital.

SK Capital invests in the specialty materials, chemicals, and pharmaceutical sectors and typically invests equity of $100 million to $200 million in each portfolio company. In February 2019, the firm held a final closing of SK Capital Partners Fund V LP with total capital of $2.1 billion and is currently raising its sixth fund with a $2.75 billion target and a $3.5 billion hardcap. SK Capital was co-founded by Barry Siadat and Jamshid Keynejad and is based in New York City.

Edgewater invests in lower middle market performance materials and services businesses. The firm has specific expertise in specialty chemicals, life sciences, advanced materials, and engineered components. Platform acquisitions will have revenues up to $100 million and EBITDA of less than $25 million. The firm was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Cleveland.

Tinicum is a family office founded to manage the holdings of the Ruttenberg family and began managing outside capital in 1998. The firm makes control and minority equity investments of $30 million to $150 million in public and privately held companies in a wide range of industries. Tinicum has offices in New York and San Francisco.

CriticalPoint Partners was the financial advisor to PLX, and Citizens Capital Market was the advisor to Tinicum. Debt financing for the acquisition of PLX was provided by KeyBanc Capital Markets.

© 2024 Private Equity Professional | March 6, 2024

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