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JDS Uniphase to acquire test company Acterna

Posted: 25 May 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:acterna? optical component?

JDS Uniphase Corp., while continuing to struggle through previous acquisitions in the optical component arena, took the unusual step of acquiring test equipment company Acterna Inc.

Acterna was formed through the merger of TTC Inc., Wavetek Inc., and Wandel & Golterman.

JDS has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Acterna for $760 million, consisting of a $450 million cash offer and $310 million in JDS common stock. The deal is expected to close by Sept. 30.

Acterna has more than 1,770 employees worldwide, and has its most significant test equipment operation in Ottawa.

JDS Uniphase CEO Kevin Kennedy said Acterna's gross margins would help its bottom line, while Acterna's presence in the optical test market will help JDS gain greater visibility of OEM customers' needs.

"We do not underestimate the challenge of integrating a company of this depth and breadth," Kennedy said, adding that JDS will continue to phase out products and pare operations to accelerate a return to profitability in its opto components business.

The move is not unpredented. Agilent Technologies Inc. maintains both opto components and test and measurement businesses. But the deal raised questions among financial analysts during a conference call since skills significantly different from optical components manufacturing will be needed to run a test unit.

Kennedy said Acterna chief executive John Peeler will manage all test businesses on a relatively autonomous basis.

- Loring Wirbel

EE Times

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