Cassidian takes over shares in optronics division of Carl Zeiss


Cassidian and Carl Zeiss AG have agreed to run the optronics and optics activities of Carl Zeiss Optronics GmbH jointly in future after Cassidian acquires 75% of Carl Zeiss Optronics shares.

In a contract signed on Friday between EADS Deutschland GmbH – Cassidian’s German legal entity – and Carl Zeiss AG, the two partners stipulated that Cassidian would acquire 75.1 per cent of the shares in Carl Zeiss Optronics GmbH, headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany.

Carl Zeiss will retain the remaining 24.9 per cent. The ownership interests are to be assigned to Cassidian once all the necessary authorisations and anti-trust approvals have been granted.

Incorporating this sector of Carl Zeiss is a strategic expansion on the part of Cassidian of its existing sensor product portfolio in the area of sensors, the company said. Carl Zeiss Optronics will be able to make use of Cassidian’s global sales channels, offices and subsidiaries, as well as its know-how in the area of business development, and gains long-term prospects for its existing business activities as a result of this venture.

All in all, the two partners expect the new enterprise to improve their global market access and international competitiveness. 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.

Cassidian CEO Dr. Stefan Zoller said that, “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.”

Dr. Michael Kaschke, President and CEO of Carl Zeiss AG, emphasised that, “Our greatest concern is to provide optronics with a successful, long-term future. In a market which has to cope with the drastically sinking defence 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. Cassidian possesses both of these assets. In its capacity as the Cassidian centre of competence for sensors, combined with the technological excellence of Carl Zeiss, the company has all the ingredients for a successful future. We are confident that optronics has better perspectives at Cassidian than at Carl Zeiss.”

The Carl Zeiss optronics division develops and manufactures optronic, optic and precision-engineered products for military and civil applications at its German sites in Oberkochen and Wetzlar and in Irene, South Africa, and has around 780 employees. Among its main focuses are border surveillance systems, optical and opto-electronic devices and components for vehicles such as sensors and optics, as well as submarine periscopes.