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Bookham buys Marconi's optics arm

17 Jun 2002

Bookham Technology has bought loss-making Marconi Optical Components for USD 28.7 million.

UK-based optical component maker Bookham Technology has bought fellow UK company Marconi Optical Components (MOC) for GBP 19.7 million (USD 28.7 million). The move follows a disastrous 12 months for MOC, which suffered pre-tax losses of GBP 18.7 million (USD 27.3 million) in its last financial year.

Despite MOC's financial problems, Bookham's chief executive Giorgio Anania believes that the latest acquisition makes 'enormous strategic sense'. "By combining Bookham's integrated silicon optical chip with MOC's active components we can provide highly integrated systems with active and passive functionality," he said.

Bookham's first plans to offer Marconi's tunable laser and GaAs modulator as a joint package before integrating MOC's active devices into its silicon-based optical circuits.

As part of the deal Marconi is to buy GBP 30 million (USD 43.7 million) of Bookham products over the next 18 months. According to Bookham's chief commercial officer Steve Turley, the supply agreement secures against any risk from Marconi's finances.

Turley also said that Bookham aims to close the deal by the end of January 2002 by which time MOC will have a 'different cost structure', making it a more secure purchase. "The acquisition is well within our financial capabilities," he added.

While refusing to comment on potential job cuts at MOC's Caswell plant Anania concluded: "We believe that when the market turns around we will have many of the pieces required to offer full solutions to our customers."

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