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Nokia Siemens Networks divests Optical Networks

05 Dec 2012

Buyer Marlin Equity setting up Munich-based optical unit; NSN refocusing on mobile broadband.

Going, going, gone: NSN has sold off its Optical Networks division.

Going, going, gone: NSN has sold off its Optical Networks division.

Nokia Siemens Networks, Espoo, Finland, has announced the sale of its Optical Networks business unit to Marlin Equity Partners. The terms of the transaction were not released.

NSN has for some time been selling off the parts it considers to be non-core assets – such as its microwave, wi-max and IPTV subdivisions – as it transforms itself into a mobile broadband specialist.

Rajeev Suri, CEO at Nokia Siemens Networks, commented, “During 2012, Nokia Siemens Networks has made tremendous progress in transforming the company to become the world’s mobile broadband specialist. We are concentrating our energy and investment in areas such as LTE. This transaction aims to provide a new home for Optical Networks with the focus and resources to address the optical market.”

Marlin Equity Partners has formed a new optical networks company based on the acquisition, and says it intends to act as a consolidator, to build an industry leader in the fragmented optical networking sector. Nick Kaiser, a co-founder and partner, said, “We are making a major commitment to this sector, and have significant capital under management that we intend to use as a catalyst for consolidation.”

The new optical company will be headquartered in Munich, Germany, with various operations around the world and will be led by its existing management team with Herbert Merz as chief executive officer. Merz commented, “Marlin is a long-term investor with an extensive and successful track record in our industry and direct experience of working with some of our customers.”

Optical Networks is a leader in the long-haul segments of the optical market and the emerging 100G sector with a tier one global customer base. As a result of the transaction up to 1,900 employees – mainly in Germany, Portugal and China – from the optical business unit and related functions are expected to transfer to the new company. Existing customer contracts will also be transferred to the new company.

About the Author

Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org

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