Lucent Technologies Inc. made the latest
play in the optical networking sector Monday by buying privately-held Herrmann Technology Inc. in a $438 million stock deal.
Lucent offered up approximately 7.3 million shares of common stock for all outstanding Hermann equity. Lucent will take an unspecified one-time charge to cover research and development costs connected to the deal. Also, Herrmann Technology shareholders may also receive an additional
675,000 shares, valued at approximately $40 million based on the closing
price of Lucent stock on June 16, if the firm successfully meets goals
based on performance.
In direct competition with Nortel Networks
and Cisco Systems
Lucent inked the deal to assert itself as a
top provider of optical networking solutions in a market where is speedy
content delivery is strongly desired.
By acquiring Herrman, Lucent
will benefit from the company’s
thin-film process technology used to make passive optical filters, which are
used in crafting dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) optical
networks. The networks enable connectivity providers to rapidly send large
amounts of traffic over fiber-optic lines.
DWDM systems amp the capacity of optical fibers by combining and dividing
different wavelengths of light, which enable multiple streams of voice,
video and data to travel through a single fiber-optic cable. Thin-film
filters prevent interference between different wavelength channels by
filtering unwanted frequencies of light.
Herrmann Technology President Bill Herrmann will join the optoelectronics
division of Lucent’s Microelectronics Group as director of optical thin film
filter manufacturing and advanced process development. Sixty-five employees
will join Lucent’s fold.
With Monday’s deal, Lucent is picking up where it left off from last week’s
business developments when it said it was poised to spin off its
microelectronics unit in a deal worth a reported $40 billion. The equipment
giant also secured a $1.5 billion network infrastructure contract from Verizon Wireless, a new venture forged
from the wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic and Vodafone AirTouch.