Enablence Technologies to acquire Albis Optoelectronics

MARCH 20, 2007 By Stephen Hardy -- The Swiss supplier of photodiodes will continue to supply products to the datacom and FTTH markets as a wholly owned subsidiary of Enablence.

MARCH 20, 2007 By Stephen Hardy -- Enablence Technologies Inc. (search for Enablence) has agreed to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Albis Optoelectronics AG (search for Albis). The Swiss supplier of photodiodes will continue to supply products to the datacom and FTTH markets as a wholly owned subsidiary of Enablence.

All conditions pursuant to the agreement are expected to be fulfilled on or about March 21, 2007. Enablence will acquire all the shares of Albis for $4,127,028.54 in the form of cash and 1,889,686 in common shares of Enablence Technologies Inc. at the average 10-day closing price of $1.10 per share.

According to Arvind Chhatbar, the CEO of Enablence, the two companies had been working together "for a while now" as Enablence sought photodetectors that would integrate well with the FTTH transceivers it had designed based on its Dispersion Bridge technology. Chhatbar cited Albis's high-performance products, in-house fab capabilities, and profitable business as strengths that Enablence found enticing.

While the pairing of the companies' capabilities might lend themselves to work toward a monolithic transceiver design, Chhatbar says that Enablence's current hybrid integration approach adequately meets both internal and market requirements. Therefore, he says that he's not entirely convinced that a monolithic approach is necessary in the near term.

According to the press release announcing the deal, Albis Optoelectronics is an ISO9001:2000 certified designer, developer, and manufacturer of high-speed single channel and array photodiode chips for fiber-optic datacom and telecom applications. Its product portfolio is designed to support 2.5-, 4-, 10- and 40-Gbit/sec communication links as well as analog microwave applications. The Zurich based fabrication facilities offer full in-house production from front-end to back-end and includes a class 100 clean room and extensive test and qualification laboratories. Dr. Markus Blaser and Dr. Joerg Wieland founded the company in August 2003 after they acquired all of the assets associated with the photodiode business line of OptoSpeed.

Interviewed at Tokyo's the Fiber Optic Expo this past January, Albis CEO Peter Cairoli reported that the company had just released its GaAs product line. He also revealed that 40% of the company's revenues came from Japan, with PON, 10GBase-LRM, and parallel optics representing strong applications. He also said that photodiodes for monitoring TOSA performance had proven to be a big product.

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