HIGH-TECH TRANSACTION [Albuquerque Journal, N.M.]
(Albuquerque Journal (NM) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) March 31--Albuquerque's Emcore Corp. is selling a segment of its fiber optics business that makes products to support datacom applications to Sumitomo Electric Device Innovations USA for $17 million in cash.
Sumitomo will buy Emcore's vertical cavity surface emitting laser fab and VCSEL-based product lines. About 50 Emcore employees in that operation will be given offers to work for Sumitomo, which will use part of Emcore's Building 2, Emcore CEO Hong Hou told the Journal .
"(The sale) is a win for Emcore because it will allow us to be more focused, and with improved liquidity we can invest in the fast-growing business area, for example, the solar cells area," Hou said. "For Sumitomo, they will be able to jump-start into this field with a proven technology."
VCSEL is a type of semiconductor laser used to manufacture products for primarily high-speed data communications applications. Product lines include VCSEL and photodiode components, parallel optical transceiver modules and active optical cables. The operation had been part of Emcore, one of the original VCSEL manufacturers, since 1997.
"In the beginning, we were targeting for many different applications, but after the telecom bubble burst, we started coming to the reality that demand from the industry is limited," Hou said. "So we have a wonderful technology and oversized capacity."
He said Emcore worked with the Osaka, Japan-headquartered Sumitomo the past couple of years to develop new applications for automotive and consumer electronics. "They really like our devices, but we by ourselves would not be able to influence the industry standards as much as Sumitomo, as an international conglomerate," Hou said.
Sumitomo provides wire harness products for the automotive industry, such as fiber optics-based cable to deliver audio-video signals from dashboard to rear-seat speakers or displays.
The transaction is expected to close soon after regulatory approval is received from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.
(c)2012 the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.)
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