Fiberoptics Industry Report

Finisar to buy Honeywell's VCSEL business; Huawei invests more in FSO firm; CirTran branches out into fiberoptics; MORE...

Mar 1st, 2004

Finisar to buy Honeywell's VCSEL business

Finisar (Sunnyvale, CA) and Honeywell International (Morristown, NJ) have entered into a definitive agreement in which Finisar has agreed to acquire Honeywell's VCSEL Optical Products business, based in Richardson, Texas, for $75 million cash. The transaction is subject to applicable regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the first calendar quarter of 2004. Following the completion of the acquisition, Finisar expects to continue to operate the business at the Richardson, TX, facility.

Honeywell's VCSEL Optical Products business manufactures vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), primarily used in high-speed fiberoptic data-communications and position-sensing applications. Finisar provides fiberoptic subsystems and network performance test systems that enable high-speed data communications for networking and storage applications. Honeywell said the VCSEL business is noncore to its strategic focus of developing its sensing and control, fire and security, process solutions, and building solutions. The VCSEL Optical Products business generated approximately $36 million in revenues during 2003, including approximately $9 million from components supplied to Finisar.

In related news, Picolight and Honeywell have cross-licensed certain intellectual property relating to oxide-confined VCSELs. The agreement, which applies to four Picolight patents and one Honeywell patent, will transfer to Finisar when the Honeywell/Finisar deal closes.

Huawei invests more in FSO firm

Huawei Technologies (Shenzhen, China), China's leading telecommunications equipment provider, has invested US$2 million in LightPointe Communications (San Diego, CA) as part of a venture-capital fundraising effort that netted LightPointe $17 million. LightPointe develops and manufactures laser-based free-space-optics technologies and equipment. Last year LightPointe and Huawei signed a strategic partnership agreement under which LightPointe began manufacturing FSO products for the China market under the Huawei brand. Several hundred FSO systems have already been deployed by Huawei with China's largest carriers, including China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Netcom.

CirTran branches out into fiberoptics

CirTran (Salt Lake City, UT) has purchased state-of-the-art equipment to manufacture fiberoptic cables. This equipment, valued at approximately $100,000, will be added to an additional manufacturing line in the company's Salt Lake City facility. Management estimates this equipment will help produce between $400,000 and $800,000 addition al revenue this year—a return on investment of 300% to 700%.

Iehab J. Hawatmeh, president and CEO of CirTran commented, "Fiberoptic cables are the paradigm of the cable-manufacturing industry. We are committed to invest continually in the proper tools and equipment in order to meet customer demands on time and within budget." Hawatmeh said he expects the fiberoptic cable division to account for approximately 5% to10% of current revenue projections for fiscal 2004.

Pirelli wins two optical cable contracts

Pirelli (Milan, Italy) has been awarded two major contracts for the provision of overhead optical cable systems in Algeria. The contracts, worth a total of US$20 million, have been signed with the system integrator Telecommunications Consultants of India, and will provide the Algerian power and gas company SONELGAZ with a major optical communications backbone. Both contracts involve the installation of the optical cables under live line conditions using Pirelli patented installation methods. The first covers 3000 km of optical ground wire to be installed on energized 220-kv overhead transmission lines on a turnkey basis. The second covers 1000 km of lashed cable to be installed on energized 220-kv overhead transmission lines using a Pirelli robotized system.

Also in the news . . .

Nufern (East Granby, CT) has licensed a patent for amplification technology held by IMRA America (Ann Arbor, MI), enabling Nufern to offer a wider variety of optical-fiber subassemblies based on Nufern's specialty fibers. . . . OmniGuide Communications (Cambridge, MA), a developer of hollow-core cylindrical photonic-bandgap optical fibers, raised $15 million in a Series C round of financing. . . . Denselight's (Singapore) superluminescent LEDs have successfully passed Telcordia's GR-468-CORE, "Reliability Assurance Requirements for Optoelectronics Devices Used in Telecommunications Equipment". . . . Picolight (Boulder, CO) closed a $10 million round of funding that will help the company further develop and market its 1310-nm VCSELs.

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