Agere Leaves the Nest

Agere Systems today announced that it is no longer a part of Lucent Technologies. Agere, formerly a wholly-owned microelectronics division of Lucent, is now a completely separate company. Agere is the maker of the ORiNOCO Wireless WLAN products and technology.

This process began in 2000 when beleaguered Lucent spun Agere out as a separate unit. Agere had it’s first initial public offering in March of 2001, but Lucent owned a 58 percent stake in the company. Lucent planned to complete the spin off last year but couldn’t then meet the financial requirements under it’s bank agreements to do so.

Agere now as approximately 11,500 employees located in three continents, with a central office in Allentown, PA.

As part of the current separation, Lucent distributed approximately 945 million shares of Agere common stock to around 5 million shareholders. For each share of Lucent stock held, shareholders got .01 of a share of Agere Class A common stock (37 million shares, each carrying one vote per share on all matters) and .264 of a share of Agere Class B common stock (908.1 million shares with four votes per share for elections, one vote on other matters), though investors will get them only as whole shares of stock — those entitled to only fractional shares will get cash.

Agere will continue to operate with two business units. The Client Systems Group is the end user applications group for product from modems to hard disks to wireless networks. The Infrastructure Systems Group will provide chips and optoelectronics components for communications systems.

Lucent’s stock (LU) dropped 5.8% by mid day today. Agere’s stock (AGR.A) was up 1% to $3.15 a share. Both trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

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