Lucent in talks to buy Chromatis for $5.5bn

Lucent Technologies is in talks to acquire optical networking equipment maker Chromatis Networks, in a stock deal that could value the privately held company at around $US5.5 billion, according to several reports published over the weekend.

If concluded, Lucent is expected to announce the deal before the Supercomm 2000 trade show kicks off in Atlanta on June 4, according to a report in the New York Times newspaper on Monday.

Although the deal could still fall apart, the likelihood of Chromatis concluding a sale to Lucent is over 90 per cent, the report said, citing a source close to the companies.

Chromatis specialises in developing equipment for optical networks.

Late last week, the Herndon, Virginia-based company said in a statement that it, in cooperation with Qwest Communications International, had completed the first phase of a lab trial of its forthcoming Metropolis platform for deploying integrated voice and data services over optical metropolitan networks.

Founded in 1997, Chromatis has received more than $US50 million in funding from several leading venture capitalists, including Lucent Venture Partners, according to information from the company's website.

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