Xtera buys Meriton Networks

APRIL 7, 2008 By Stephen Hardy -- The acquisition adds packet optical edge/metro and metro/regional ROADM products to Xtera's portfolio.

APRIL 7, 2008 By Stephen Hardy -- Xtera Communications (search for Xtera), best known for its submarine network equipment, has acquired metro platform provider Meriton Networks (search for Meriton). The acquisition adds packet optical edge/metro and metro/regional ROADM products to Xtera's portfolio.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. In breaking the story, the Ottawa Citizen on Saturday reported that 35 Meriton employees, mainly from Meriton's Kanata facility, had been laid off. Meriton CEO Mike Pascoe also will leave the company, the newspaper reported.

This marks the latest in a string of acquisitions for Xtera, which began life as a supplier of S- and L-Band amplification systems, then reinvented itself as a supplier of DWDM equipment that incorporated its original amplifier technology. The company purchased Azea Networks, which produced equipment for repeatered submarine networks, last November. A month earlier, the company acquired AscenVision Technologies, a developer of IP networking technology, particularly traffic management technology. The previous August, Xtera purchased the UK fixed-line enterprise service and first-line maintenance organizations from AlanDick UK. The assets expanded Xtera's ability to address the cellular, broadcast, radar/surveillance, and enterprise markets.

The acquisition of Meriton should dovetail with that of AscenVision and the AlanDick assets and strengthen the company's terrestrial offerings in particular. Xtera touted Meriton's R&D expertise in packet optical networking and Carrier Ethernet transport and ROADM technology, as well as an existing global Tier 1 and Tier 2 service provider customer base, in announcing the deal.

Xtera believes the acquisition positions it to help network operators meet the Ethernet and IP traffic growth via an end-to-end optical network product portfolio.

"As with our previous acquisitions, Meriton brings advanced technologies, additional customers, and geographical diversity, along with improved economies of scale, across our business," said Xtera CEO Jon Hopper. "With this acquisition, Xtera Communications has moved significantly closer toward our goal of being a leading provider of converged Ethernet/IP and optical transport solutions."

"Optical networking is showing significant growth in all markets across the globe," said Michael Howard, principal analyst at Infonetics, in a quote printed in the press release announcing the acquisition. "The continuing traffic demands for increased capacity are driving the need for new platforms that converge packet and optical layers to reduce cost and complexity in next-generation transport networks. Xtera's acquisition of Meriton Networks creates a wide product portfolio that provides reach from the metro access edge through the ultra long haul."

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