Timeline: The long bidding war for laser maker Coherent

(Reuters) - Laser maker Coherent Inc on Thursday agreed to a $7 billion buyout offer from optical components maker II-VI Inc and scrapped a merger deal it signed with optical fiber firm Lumentum Holdings Inc weeks ago.


Coherent supplies laser-based equipment used in making organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays, an increasingly popular choice for new-generation smartphones and high-end television sets.

A merger would help the companies expand their footing in a fast-growing market that is also set to benefit from 5G rollouts.


Lumentum supplies 3D sensors used in Apple iPhone’s Face ID.

II-VI makes optical compounds used in solar cells, lasers and transistors.

One-time bidder MKS Instruments produces instruments used in semiconductor manufacturing processes.

Here is a timeline of all the bids and counter bids that Coherent has received since January 2021:

January 19: Lumentum and Coherent enter into cash-and-stock merger deal valued at $5.7 billion

February 8: Coherent says it received an unsolicited buyout offer worth $6 billion from MKS Instruments

February 11: Lumentum reiterates its deal to acquire Coherent as superior to MKS Instruments’ offer, which it believed would face substantial regulatory hurdles

February 12: Coherent says it received an unsolicited buyout proposal from II-VI valued at $6.4 billion

March 8: II-VI makes a revised proposal, with a higher cash component to acquire Coherent valued at $6.2 billion, which the company backs and deems superior to Lumentum’s offer

March 10: Coherent signs a revised merger agreement with Lumentum valued at $6.6 billion

March 12: II-VI makes a revised offer that is worth $6.64 billion, Coherent calls this offer superior to Lumentum’s offer from two days ago

March 17: Lumentum dives deeper and offers $6.9 billion, intensifying the takeover battle

March 18: II-VI comes back with a $7 billion offer, to counter Lumentum, which Coherent says it is in favor of

March 23: Lumentum proposes a deal valued at $7 billion with the highest cash component compared to all the bids made thus far

March 25: Coherent picks II-VI’s last offer and enters a new agreement, walking away from Lumentum’s March 9 agreement and agreeing to pay $217.6 million as a termination fee

Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.