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Lockheed Martin buying Santa Rosa manufacturer

Defense and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin announced a deal Wednesday to purchase Deposition Sciences Inc., a Santa Rosa company that manufactures thin-film coatings.

The acquisition is expected to close within 30 days. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Santa Rosa company, which has approximately 85 employees, will be integrated into Lockheed Martin's aeronautics business unit.

Lockheed Martin spokesman Gordon Johndroe said he didn't expect major changes with the purchase. Deposition Sciences co-founder Lee Bartolomei will remain chief executive officer, Johndroe said.

"This transaction broadens our technological capabilities," Johndroe said. "They are very good at what they do. And they will be a welcome addition to Lockheed Martin."

Bartolomei didn't return a call to his office Wednesday.

Started in 1985 by a group of laid-off workers from Optical Coating Laboratory Inc., Deposition Sciences produces thin-film coatings for defense and commercial applications. The company was sold by its founders in 1998 to Advanced Lighting Technologies for $29 million.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global defense and aerospace company that employs approximately 113,000 people worldwide. It reported $45.4 billion in sales last year.

Ben Stone, coordinator of Sonoma County's Economic Development Board, said interest in Deposition Sciences from such a large firm is a sign that the region's technology sector is attractive and competitive.

He speculated the new owner could invest in things like research and development, possibly leading to an expansion of business and jobs.

"It's great we have companies people want to buy," Stone said. "Having this new investment in the area and the company is good thing."


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