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Luna Innovations buys British electronics company

Roanoke-based Luna Innovations Inc. closed what executives called a milestone acquisition Thursday, as it joined forces with a British electronics company.

Luna bought OptaSense Holdings Ltd. of Farnborough, England, a company that offers complementary products and services based on similar fiber-based sensing technology but is not a direct competitor, Luna officials said.

Luna and OptaSense hold the largest market share in the world in distributed fiber optic sensing technology, said Luna spokeswoman Jane Bailey. Optical fiber lines can monitor performance and activity and collect data when incorporated into a variety of infrastructure and systems, such as bridges, tunnels, dams and pipelines and perimeter fences.

Luna paid the equivalent of $39 million for OptaSense, according to officials who explained that British pounds were used.

Luna’s announcement listed robust benefits, including gaining operational capability in the European Union and Middle East, where OptaSense is strong, and access to high growth markets. Here, Luna expects more work to flow to its Blacksburg manufacturing facility.

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