Shares of optical networking component maker Opnext
Opnext CEO Harry Bosco says the merger will give the combined company the "critical mass" needed to win in the laser diode market. Furthermore, the combination creates a leader in the ultra-fast optical transceiver segment behind Finisar
Opnext shareholders will end up owning about 42% of the new entity. The board will also split 60/40 in Oclaro's favor. Those ratios are roughly in line with the pre-merger companies' sales: Oclaro's trailing revenue stands at $417 million against Opnext's $327 million, so 56% of the sales come from Oclaro today.
At $745 million altogether, the total company would still be smaller than Finisar or JDSU. The company does put some space between itself and Infinera
And of course, there will be cost-saving synergies. Expect a heavy dose of layoffs once the merger closes. Given that both Oclaro and Opnext sport negative operating profit and EBITDA margins, the move is understandable.
Does this deal signal the start of massive consolidation in the optical industry? I wouldn't be surprised. In this sector, a handful of large elephants are dancing with lots and lots of little mice. The flooding in Thailand last year hit this industry hard, and it may simply be cheaper and easier to build new companies out of the remains of badly damaged old ones. And let me point out that Finisar and JDSU sit on respectable piles of cash with little debt, making for easy all-cash buyouts as the opportunities come along.
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