Molex Inc., the world's second largest connector supplier, engaged in another of its infrequent acquisitions last week, adding several new product lines from a smaller rival in a bid to become a one-stop supplier of fiber optic components.
Molex paid an undisclosed amount for several fiberoptic product lines and the IP of Schott Optovance, an optical interconnect products subsidiary of Schott Corp., Yonkers, N.Y.
Molex, Lisle, Ill., historically has grown organically , making small acquisitions only to fill gaps in its product line. The company made its last acquisition in March 2000 when it bought Beau Interconnect, a division of Axsys Technologies Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N.J. The transaction helped Molex fill out its terminal block line.
Molex is following the same formula in the Schott Optovance deal by obtaining products that cross-connect optical fibers from multiple-ribbon inputs to reconfigured multiple-ribbon outputs in onboard and backplane applications. Specifically, the acquisition complements Molex's FlexPlane optical interconnects for flex circuit applications, according to Tom Marrapode, director of marketing for Molex's Fiber Optics division.
"We can now address 100% of the applications for dense-fiber routing," Marrapode said, noting that Molex also offers fiberoptic connectors, transceivers and receivers, and design services.
Though it did not disclose terms of the acquisition, Molex likely acquired Schott Optovance at a bargain basement price, according to analysts. Optovance was formed by Schott in October 2000 to serve the then-booming market for optical fiber interconnects. But Optovance fell in the collapse of the optical fiber market and was in the process of being disbanded by Schott.
"The market is still depressed, but Optovance had a number of design wins and development programs," Marrapode said.
Molex will move Optovance's assembly operations to its Bolinbrook, Ill., fiberoptic plant.