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Bookham axes former headquarters

14 Dec 2004

The supplier of optical networking subsystems announces a fresh round of cost cutting.

Bookham Technology, the maker of optical modules for telecoms, is closing its former headquarters near Abingdon, UK, and consolidating its manufacturing and development facilities.

The plans are part of a new cost reduction program that the firm hopes will save it an additional $6 to $8 million per quarter and move it closer to becoming profitable. In its most recent financial results (quarter ended 2 October 2004), Bookham reported a net loss of $38 million, despite cost reductions that it implemented last May.

The Milton Park facility near Abingdon is Bookham's birth place where it pioneered its original ASOC [application-specific optical circuit] technology in the 1990s. However, the firm recently shifted its worldwide headquarters to San Jose, California and changed its financial domicile from the UK to the US. The executive team at Milton Park will relocate to Bookham's Caswell site also in the UK, the home of its 3-inch InP chip manufacturing facility.

In the US, Bookham will close two of its three current facilities in the San Jose area, with operations at the former Onetta and Ignis sites moving to the Junction Avenue headquarters acquired through the takeover of New Focus.

Bookham did not disclose the severity of its workforce reduction, and says that it is currently "in the process of consultation" with employees. However, the company has estimated that it will incur a cash charge of $4 to $5 million for employee redundancies.

Oliver Graydon is editor of Optics.org and Opto & Laser Europe magazine.

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