Atheros Communications to buy PON chip maker Opulan Technologies

July 20, 2010
JULY 20, 2010 -- Atheros Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHR) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Opulan Technologies Corp., a privately held Chinese fabless semiconductor company specializing in chips for passive optical networking (PON) and broadband access aggregation.

JULY 20, 2010 -- Atheros Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHR) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Opulan Technologies Corp., a privately held Chinese fabless semiconductor company specializing in chips for passive optical networking (PON) and broadband access aggregation. Atheros will pay Opulan shareholders approximately $72 million in cash, and may pay additional cash to Opulan shareholders subject to the attainment of earn-out objectives applicable to the acquired business during a 12-month period following the closing date.

With the addition of Opulan's PON technology, Atheros says it will now provide carriers with a unique end-to-end (WAN-to-LAN) architecture that not only delivers gigabit-speed optical broadband access to the home and MDU, but also harnesses Atheros's hybrid connectivity portfolio consisting of Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and powerline offerings. Opulan's team also augments Atheros' workforce in China, which enables the company to increase its engineering and customer support for the large broadband deployments that are projected for the region.

"With the pending acquisition of Opulan, Atheros will have the industry's most complete and unique networking IC portfolio for connecting the entire home or office," said Craig Barratt, president and CEO of Atheros. "This is another important step in Atheros' strategy to make it easier for consumers to connect and consume rich media on more and more devices. Opulan's world-class team also brings additional engineering leadership and strong customer relationships in Asia."

Atheros says its ETHOS line of Ethernet switching devices will complement Opulan's 1G/10G EPON and mux product portfolio. By tightly integrating the carrier transport mechanisms with its Gigabit Ethernet silicon, Atheros believes it can offer a carrier-class FTTH platform that delivers gigabit broadband access from the central office to the gateway, and then intelligently route the traffic within the home.

Atheros will gain 111 employees located in Shanghai and Beijing, China. The transaction, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2010, remains subject to regulatory requirements and other customary closing conditions. The acquisition has been approved by the board of directors of each company, and a majority of Opulan's shareholders have agreed to approve the transaction.

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