Industry Report

In a consolidation move, Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) will acquire SpecTran Corp. (Sturbridge, MA), one of its suppliers of optical fiber, for $64 million and also assume $35 million in SpecTran debt. The deal should be complete by September 30. Charles B. Harrison, president and CEO of SpecTran, will stay on for a transition period. Lucent, which has been one of SpecTran's major customers, signed a deal last year giving SpecTran rights to some Lucent fiber patents for use in manufa

W. Conard Holton

Lucent buys fiber-maker SpecTran

In a consolidation move, Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) will acquire SpecTran Corp. (Sturbridge, MA), one of its suppliers of optical fiber, for $64 million and also assume $35 million in SpecTran debt. The deal should be complete by September 30. Charles B. Harrison, president and CEO of SpecTran, will stay on for a transition period. Lucent, which has been one of SpecTran's major customers, signed a deal last year giving SpecTran rights to some Lucent fiber patents for use in manufacturing operations. The acquisition came several days after SpecTran agreed to sell its share of General Photonics to BICC General (Highland Heights, KY) for $2.4 million. SpecTran had formed General Photonics in a joint venture with General Cable Corp.-which was folded into BICC in June-in 1996. The venture was losing money in the most recent quarter reported.

E-Tek Dynamics acquires Kaifa Technology

Privately held Kaifa Technology (Sunnyvale, CA), a maker of fiberoptic components, has been acquired by E-Tek Dynamics (San Jose, CA) for approximately $40 million in common stock and cash. The purchase will allow E-Tek to further broaden its line of passive fiberoptic components to include products such as a low-cost circulator and a free-space isolator and to increase E-Tek's component and module capacity. According to E-Tek chairman and CEO Michael Fitzpatrick, his company also strengthens its customer base and obtains significant offshore capabilities in the form of Kaifa's manufacturing operations in China. In Asia, E-Tek has recently taken a 95% majority share in its FibX subsidiary in Taiwan-a joint-venture manufacturing operation it had formed with Walsin Lihwa Corp. (Taipei, Taiwan). Vincent Au-Yeung, president of Kaifa, will become general manager and vice president of the new Kaifa business unit.

GN Nettest expands with purchases

The Fiber Optic Division of GN Nettest (Utica, NY) has agreed to buy two companies from IFR Systems (Wichita, KS). The acquisition, valued at $43 million for both companies, includes PK Technology (Beaverton, OR), which is the Optical Test and Measurement Division of IFR, and York Sensors (Romsey, England). The two companies will be merged with the Fiber Optic Division to become GN Nettest Optical Division. The deal will create one of the world's largest suppliers of test-and-measurement equipment for optical communications, with sales projected to be $80 million. The new company will have 350 employees-130 from GN, 200 from PK Technology, and 20 from York Sensors. GN Nettest is part of GN Great Nordic Group (Copenhagen, Denmark).

Startup Algety promises to bring solitons to the DWDM market

Former engineers from the Centre National d'Etudes des Télécommunications have found enough venture capital and government grants to form Algety (Lannion, France), a company dedicated to bringing soliton dense-wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) to commercial viability. The seed capital for the new company totals more than $7.4 million, and Algety proposes to deliver prototypes by the end of 1999 and full commercial systems by mid-2000. The company members have been a team for the past six years and achieved record terrestrial soliton transmission of 1 Tbit/s over 1000 km.

Also in the news . . .

Lumenon Innovative Lightwave Technology (Dorval, Quebec, Canada) has inaugurated a manufacturing plant for its glass integrated circuits that work in concert with features made from organic polymers. . . . Alcatel (Paris, France) has formed a new division, Alcatel Optics, which will handle the company's activities in terrestrial and submarine networking, optoelectronic components, and related research. . . . Spectra-Physics Lasers (Mountain View, CA) has stepped into a new arena: passive optical components for telecommunications products. . . . Tellabs (Lisle, IL) has agreed to buy startup router- and switch-maker NetCore Systems (Wilmington, MA) for approximately $575 million in stock. . . . Hitachi Semiconductor Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) has released an 800-Mbit/s/channel optical interconnect for mass multimedia transmission.

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