Masthead Corporate Logo
Subscribe > e-Newsletter   > Magazines  
Search  Advanced

The Lightwave Blog

Bookmark This Page! (Ctrl+D)
Subscribe to an RSS Feed of this Blog.
<< Home

Bookham/Avanex: Why now?

January 28, 2009

Posted by Stephen Hardy

One of the more interesting aspects of yesterday's announcement that Bookham and Avanex had agreed to merge was the timing -- what took so long?

Alain Couder and Giovanni Barbarossa were asked during yesterday's conference call about the merger's timing. While Couder answered that there was no reason to wait out the downturn before consumating the deal, Barbarossa piped in with "My question was why we didn't do it yesterday!"

Given that has been pretty much the sentiment among most observers of the space, I got through to Yves LeMaitre (thanks Howard!), currently Bookham's vice president of telecommunication sales and vice president of corporate marketing and future head of the combined company's non-telecom business, and posed the question to him.

According to LeMaitre, the timing had a lot to do with the current macro-economic environment. The time is right for consolidation in the industry, he feels. Also, the companies' current valuations increased the feasibility of a merger. Finally, LeMaitre echoed a story Couder told during the call about a "trial run" interaction between the executives of the two firms that convinced the Bookham president and CEO that the two companies could work compatibility together.

One has to wonder at this point whether the departure of Jo Major as Avanex president and CEO last July was the result of a difference of opinion within the senior management ranks about whether it was time to find a buyer. Given Barbarossa's enthusiasm for the deal, it certainly appears he's happy with what has taken place.

Labels: , ,


<< Home

The Lightwave editorial staff uses The Lightwave Blog to share their thoughts on optical communications and whatever else might be the current topic of conversation from cubicle to cubicle. Feel free to add your own opinions.

Stephen Hardy is editorial director and associate publisher of Lightwave, which makes him responsible for the editorial aspects of the Lightwave franchise. A technology journalist since 1982, he once had his job duties described as "gets paid to tick off advertisers ".

Meghan Fuller is senior editor of Lightwave. She has degrees from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, and the University of Delaware and is a card-carrying member of Red Sox Nation.