Fiberoptics Industry Report

JDS Uniphase boosts capability by acquiring OCLI, adds Ramar; Nortel ups networking investment, sues Optical Networks; New funding spurs Multiplex growth; and more.

Dec 1st, 1999

JDS Uniphase boosts capability by acquiring OCLI, adds Ramar

In a major move to firm up its component-manufacturing base, JDS Uniphase (San Jose, CA) has purchased Optical Coating Laboratory Inc. (OCLI; Santa Rosa, CA) in a deal calling for the exchange of 0.928 shares of JDSU stock for each share of OCLI common stock. The acquisition is valued at approximately $2.8 billion. JDS Uniphase also acquired Ramar Corp. (Northborough, MA), a small company that makes integrated optical components based on lithium niobate (LiNbO4). Terms of the acquisition of Ramar, a private company with 14 employees, were not disclosed.

Nortel ups networking investment, sues Optical Networks

Boosting its already substantial presence in optical networking, Nortel Networks (Brampton, Ontario, Canada) is investing an additional $400 million that will create 5000 new jobs and triple production capacity in 2000. The investment includes establishing a new facility in Ottawa to manufacture lasers and other optical components for dense wavelength-division multiplexing and expanding existing campuses in Paignton, England, and Monkstown, Northern Ireland. In other news, Nortel alleged that startup rival Optical Networks Inc. (San Jose, CA) has hired away 19 Nortel engineers in an effort to illegally copy Nortel networking technology. A series of legal challenges is underway.

New funding spurs Multiplex growth

Multiplex Inc. (South Plainfield, NJ), an optical-network-component maker, has raised $18.5 million in a second round of funding. The money will be spent on a new division for manufacturing high-end electro-optical subsystems and further expansion of existing manufacturing lines for 980-nm high-power pump laser modules and 10-Gbit/s electroabsorptive modulation lasers for dense wavelength-division-multiplexing systems. Multiplex was founded in 1998 and has a 15,000-sq ft facility, 4000 sq ft of which is cleanroom space. The facility houses a full-scale production line from metal-oxide chemical-vapor deposition to reliability and system testing at up to 12 Gbit/s.

ITF Optical inaugurates new facility, starts production

In the past year, ITF Optical Technologies (Ville St-Laurent, Quebec, Canada) has moved from product inception to shipment. With funding on the order of $10 million, ITF designs and manufactures all-fiber filters, couplers, and splitters for dense wavelength-division multiplexing. Investors include Newbridge Networks, Celtic House, Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, and GTI Capital. In a ceremony in early October, the rapid growth was celebrated, and a new facility was inaugurated by government and company officials.

Expansion plans moves ahead at Lasertron

Oak Industries (Waltham, MA), whose products include telecommunications components, announced that its board of directors approved a $10 million plan for expanding manufacturing capacity at its Lasertron division (Bedford, MA) for DFB transmission lasers. Lasertron secured a long-term lease on 30,000 sq ft of space to expand its DFB capacity fivefold and plans to ship products from the leased space by early 2000. The company has already begun to ship its second-generation, higher-power DFB laser.

Also in the news . . .

Anritsu (Morgan Hill, CA) has opened two new facilities at its headquarters and remodeled two existing buildings to serve as world headquarters for its telecom and applied technology divisions. . . . APA Optics Inc. (Minneapolis, MN) has raised approximately $1.87 million through a private placement by selling 465,000 shares of common stock; proceeds will be used to purchase equipment and fund product development, manufacturing, and marketing, while continuing its DWDM product lines.

W. Conard Holton

For more business news, subscribe to Optoelectronics Report. Contact Jayne Sears-Renfer at jaynesr@pennwell.com.

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