Prior FTC approval of the divestiture is required under a 1995 consent order Oerlikon-Buhrle signed to settle charges that its acquisition of Leybold would violate federal antitrust laws. The FTC had alleged that the acquisition could raise prices and reduce innovation in two markets, one of which was the market for CD metallizers, which are used in the CD replication process to apply a reflective coating to the clear plastic disc. Prior to the acquisition, Leybold manufactured these products in competition with Oerlikon-Buhrle. Among other things, the consent order requires Oerlikon-Buhrle to divest Leybold's CD metallizer business by February 1996 to an entity that will operate it as an ongoing, viable business in competition with Oerlikon-Buhrle, thus restoring the lost competition.
According to the divestiture application, Diana was formed "in order to establish a team with the industry experience, technical expertise and financial capability necessary to make the acquisition and guarantee the viability of the new entrant in the CD metallizer market...." Diana's major shareholders are Denton Vacuum, Inc., which has two manufacturing facilities in New Jersey; investment funds advised by Schroder Ventures, an international venture capital partnership; and current managers of Leybold's CD metallizer business. Oerlikon-Buhrle maintains that the divestiture "will have numerous pro-competitive, and no perceptible anticompetitive, effects on the U.S. compact disc metallizer business.
Comments on the application should be addressed to the FTC, Office of the Secretary, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.
Copies of the application, and other documents associated with this case, are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580: 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest FTC news as it is announced, call the FTC's NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC's World Wide Web Site at: http://www.ftc.gov
(FTC Docket No. C-3535)