LONDON Optical components group Gemfire Corporation (Fremont, California) is buying Avanex's silica planar lightwave circuit (PLC) unit in Livingston, Scotland, which started life as Kymata's manufacturing base. The move could safeguard some of the 70 jobs that have been under threat since last November, when Avanex saidit would shut down or sell the wafer fab for making arrayed waveguide circuits
Terms of the deal were not revealed.
"There will probably still be redundancies. Gemfire is currently reviewing the size of the workforce needed and the skills required, and the 90-day consultation process is still to be completed", Derek Milne, a spokesman acting for Avanex told CommsDesign.com.
The companies say the Livingston passive PLC manufacturing operation and products complement the polymer PLC dynamic waveguide products of Gemfire, the first company to qualify polymer optical components to stringent Telcordia standards.
The deal is expected to close this quarter. As part of the agreement, Gemfire will acquire all outstanding capital stock of the the UK subsidiary of Avanex, and Avanex will acquire a minority equity interest in GC Holdings, parent company of Gemfire Corporation.
After completion of the acquisition, Gemfire will specialize in providing integrated planar WDM solutions to the optical networking systems market. The Livingston facility includes one of the most advanced production lines for WDM planar devices, and operations will be transferred without disruption.
Richard Tompane, president and CEO of Gemfire, said the acquisition would make Gemfire a full-service planar integrated optics company. "The opportunity to provide higher levels of integration and cost efficiencies has never been greater. By combining these proven Telcordia-qualified building blocks, Gemfire will be able to offer its customers a broader range of WDM solutions."
In November, Avanex said the Livingston operation, which it bought from Alcatel Optronics in 2001, was no longer a core activity as it was moving more into the optical subsystems business.