Bookham to buy Marconi Optical Components

Bookham Technology PLC has agreed to acquire Marconi PLC's optical components subsidiary in an all-share deal valued at around 19.7 million pounds (US$28.6 million), based on Bookham's closing share price on Friday, the company announced Monday.

Bookham makes passive optical components used in access and metropolitan-area networking equipment, while Marconi Optical Components Ltd. (MOC) designs and manufactures active optical components such as tunable lasers and erbium-doped fiber amplifiers, critical components in high-capacity long-distance submarine telecommunication links or in metropolitan-area networks.

Bookham expects the acquisition will speed the integration of active and passive optical elements, resulting in more efficient manufacturing processes and cheaper components for use in such networking equipment, it said in a statement. The move will enable it to develop products with greater functionality, rather than simple components, something which telecommunication equipment manufacturers are increasingly demanding, Bookham said.

For the year ended March 31, MOC posted a pretax loss of 18.7 million pounds on sales of 11.1 million pounds, according to unaudited figures cited by Bookham. Most sales revenue came from outside the Marconi group, Bookham said.

Under the terms of the deal, Marconi has agreed to buy at least 30 million pounds' worth of components from Bookham over the next eighteen months.

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