Fiberoptics Industry Report

Nov. 1, 1999
JDS Uniphase acquires EPITAXX and AFC; Nanovation buys software-maker Apollo, closes more financing; NFOEC draws record attendance, DWDM is theme; WaveSplitter draws more financing, expands; Lumenon ups production capacity in the wake of new funding; Also in the news . . .

JDS Uniphase acquires EPITAXX and AFC

Continuing to ride the value of its share price, JDS Uniphase (San Jose, CA) has acquired EPITAXX Inc. (Trenton, NJ), a maker of optical detectors and receivers for telecommunications and cable TV, for $400 million in common stock. The deal is expected to close in November. Kevin Kalkoven, cochairman and CEO of JDS Uniphase, said, "The capability to supply advanced detectors and receivers, both in component form and as a part of integrated modules, is a very significant step in expanding our active optoelectronic product lines." Nippon Sheet Glass Co. Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan, and Somerset, NJ) is majority shareholder of EPITAXX and also a major supplier of microlenses to JDS Uniphase. Separately, JDS Uniphase confirmed that in August it had purchased privately held, 12-employee AFC Technologies (Hull, Ontario, Canada), a developer of optical amplifiers. The purchase terms were not disclosed.

Nanovation buys software-maker Apollo, closes more financing

Under undisclosed terms, Nanovation Technologies (Miami, FL), a maker of optoelectronic devices for telecommunications, has acquired Apollo Photonics (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada), which makes design and simulation software. Nanovation president and CEO G. Robert Tatum said acquiring Apollo gives Nanovation control of all the steps in design, simulation, prototyping, manufacturing, and testing of optoelectronic circuits. Founder and president Wei-Ping Huang will be the general manager and senior vice president of Nanovation's development center. In other news, Nanovation raised $16.5 million through a private placement of shares of common stock.

NFOEC draws record attendance, DWDM is theme

Approximately 4300 fiberoptics engineers and exhibitors attended the 15th Annual National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (NFOEC; Sept. 26-30, 1999), sponsored by Ameritech and Telcordia Technologies in Chicago, IL. Approximately 170 companies had booths at McCormick Place, while plenary and technical sessions were held there and at a downtown hotel. Mainstream and startup companies introduced new products or soon-to-be products in a heady mix of competition for long-haul, metropolitan, and local business. Dense-wavelength-division-multiplexing (DWDM) technology was either the theme or subtext behind many of the technical presentations and products.

WaveSplitter draws more financing, expands

New investors have joined old to back WaveSplitter Technologies with $21 million of additional funding. CDIB Venture Management, the US venture-capital investment arm of Taiwan's largest bank, led the new financing round for WaveSplitter, which makes all-fiber dense-wavelength-division-multiplexing devices. To accommodate increasing demand, Jerry Bautista, vice president of technology and CTO, says, "We'll be using all of our new 55,000-sq ft facility and moving from two shifts a day to three." He adds that WaveSplitter has moved some of its component manufacturing to Browave, a Taiwanese company with which it has long personal and business ties.

Lumenon ups production capacity in the wake of new funding

In a private placement, Lumenon Innovative Lightwave Technology (Dorval, Quebec, Canada) attracted an additional investment from Groome Capital of $1.6 million. The integrated-optics manufacturer plans to use the investment to begin expanding its production capacity from 20 chips per day to at least 500 by the end of 2000. The agreement gives Groome shareholders one common share and one common share purchase warrant, which allows the holder to acquire one common share at $6 on or before Sept. 1, 2000.

Also in the news . . .

Louis G. Leeburg, a director of LightPath Technologies (Albuquerque, NM), has been named chairman of the board, replacing company founder Leslie A. Danziger, who will remain on the board. . . . Corning Incorporated (Corning, NY) has settled the lawsuit it brought against Fibercore Ltd. (Southampton, England), with Fibercore being licensed to sell its HiBi polarization-maintaining fiber and phosphorus-containing DF fibers under Corning's US patents.

W.Conard Holton

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