Business Briefs

SAN MATEO (07/07/2000) - ACQUISITION: Alcatel to buy Canadian optical filtering companyParis-based Alcatel SA's optronics division this week agreed to acquire Innovative Fibers Inc., a Gatineau, Quebec-based maker of optical filters.

Officials at Alcatel, which sells fiber-optics communications devices, said that the $175 million deal will help the company keep up with the explosive growth in bandwidth demand. The privately held Innovative Fibers specializes in FBG (fiber Bragg grating) technology, which filters and re-directs wavelengths of light. FBG components are key to DWDM (dense wave division multiplexing) applications, which allow carriers to send more data more quickly by sending multiple wavelengths over the same fiber-optic line, company officials said.

FINANCIALS: CA, BMC issue sharp warnings on quarterly resultsComputer Associates International Inc. (CA) and a smaller rival, BMC Software Inc., each saw its share price plummet this week after issuing warnings that their upcoming financial results would fall short of expectations.

Both vendors cited an expected decline in the sale of software products sold with mainframe computers. In particular, CA said a new version of IBM Corp.'s G7 mainframe, due later this year, may have caused some anxiety among customers and led them to delay purchases.

Sanjay Kumar, CA's president and COO, said three factors led CA to revise its expectations for the period: A handful of larger sales fell through toward the end of the quarter, CA's sales team in Europe continued to underperform, and OS/390 mainframe sales were slower than expected. BMC executives chose not to speculate on why orders for its mainframe software have declined.

Islandia, New York-based CA said that sales for the first fiscal quarter of 2000 likely would be between $1.25 billion and $1.3 billion, only slightly better than the $1.22 billion for the first quarter of last year. Earnings per share is likely to be in the region of 11 cents to 16 cents, Kumar said. Wall Street had been hoping for a profit of 55 cents per share when the company reports its results July 20, according to analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial.

Meanwhile, BMC, in Houston, said revenue for its first fiscal quarter would be in the range of $365 million to $375 million, down from $400.7 million last year. Diluted earnings per share are expected to be 18 cents to 21 cents, compared with analyst expectations of 46 cents per share. BMC's results are due July 17.

INVESTMENTS: Bertelsmann AG starts new venture fundThe creators of venture capital fund Bertelsmann Ventures this week launched a new Internet fund with a broader group of investors.

BV Capital Fund II will have capital commitments of $250 million from international investors, including Bertelsmann, America Online Inc., Stanford University, and Sumitomo Corp., BV officials said.

The new fund succeeds Bertelsmann Ventures, which had capital of $75 million, all of it from Hamburg, Germany-based Bertelsmann. BV will continue to exist for a few years, until it has wrapped up its current investments.

The new fund is currently seeking investments in Internet ventures in the United States and Europe, company officials said.

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More about Alcatel-LucentAmerica OnlineBertelsmannBMC Software AustraliaBMC Software AustraliaFirst CallIBM AustraliaInnovative FibersInternet VenturesStanford UniversitySumitomo AustraliaThomson FinancialWall Street

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