& cplSiteName &

ECI to Buy Laurel for $88M

Light Reading
Supercomm News Analysis
Light Reading
5/16/2005
50%
50%

ECI Telecom Ltd. (Nasdaq/NM: ECIL) is to buy B-RAS vendor Laurel Networks Inc. for $88 million in cash (see ECI Buys Laurel Networks).

Today's announcement follows months of negotiations that Light Reading believes were concluded early last week (see ECI Closing in on Laurel). The deal, expected to close within a few weeks, brings Laurel's technology, 150 staff, and $9 million in cash, giving the deal a $79 million net worth.

That's just more than four times Laurel's 2004 revenues of $18 million, derived from customers such as Level 3 Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: LVLT) and Korean carriers Dacom Corp. and KT Corp. (Korea Telecom), among others (see Laurel Scores at Level 3, Laurel Dates Dacom, Laurel Wraps Up KT Deal, and Laurel Lands Grande Deal ).

The move also represents ECI's latest attempt to challenge the industry's larger vendors. The company knows it needs to ramp up its IP capabilities if it is to win large carrier deals in competition with the likes of Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., and Siemens Communications Group, and has been vocal about its plans to acquire additional capabilities (see ECI Lines Up Acquisitions).

Late last year ECI invested in core IP router vendor Chiaro Networks Inc., and a full takeover looks likely (see Chiaro Lands ECI Investment). The acquisition of Laurel will give ECI an edge router with broadband remote access server (B-RAS) capabilities it can offer in conjunction with its Hi-Focus multiservice access gateway (see Laurel Joins B-RAS Pack, Laurel Steps Up on the Edge, and ECI Extends Broadband Access Portfolio). In addition, Laurel has recently been promoting its technology as video-friendly in an effort to attract carriers looking to provide IP video and IPTV services (see Laurel Pumps Up IPTV Plans). That will fit neatly into ECI's plans to target operators planning triple-play (voice, video, and data) service bundles.

ECI executives weren't immediately available to talk about the acquisition or about where else ECI might turn its M&A attentions. The company will hold a conference call regarding the Laurel acquisition at 3pm Eastern Standard Time (EST).

The deal appears to have come just in time for Laurel, which has only $9 million left in the bank. Without the acquisition, it could have ended up on the B-RAS scrapheap, or been bought for peanuts -- a fate that has befallen several other B-RAS players (see Tut to Acquire Copper Mountain and Tut's CoSine Deal Drags On).

That situation will likely have helped ECI broker a price that falls below Laurel's total funding to date, and is much lower than the $200 million-plus that some VCs had predicted. Laurel has raised $118 million in backing, including funds from venture capitalists and equipment vendor Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN), which has been reselling Laurel's gear (see Ciena Takes Stake in Laurel and Ciena, Laurel Win in Spain).

Investors and carriers will want to know what will come of that relationship, and Laurel's current partnership with Marconi Corp. plc (Nasdaq: MRCIY; London: MONI), a head-to-head rival of ECI in the optical and access markets (see Laurel & Marconi Make It Official).

Heavy Reading analyst at large Graham Beniston believes there's little downside to this deal, and that ECI is acquiring a company with "very creditable technology. It leads many of the other B-RAS vendors in terms of scaleability." Adds Beniston, "This gives ECI a solution set to challenge the Marconis of this world."

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

(28)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
reoptic
50%
50%
reoptic,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:15:01 AM
re: ECI to Buy Laurel for $88M
This is a good move for both companies. ECI picks up one of two available edge router/BRAS players for price much cheaper than Redback alternative. Laurel gets a channel it badly needs and a fair post bubble price. VCs don't get good returns on this one but they don't get a hole in the ground either which would be much worse. Just shows you that building a systems company is a high risk/low reward endeavor nowadays.
fiber_r_us
50%
50%
fiber_r_us,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:14:58 AM
re: ECI to Buy Laurel for $88M
If the employees leave, why would the purchase be a good thing for ECI... They would be left with an unsupportable product.
fiber_r_us
50%
50%
fiber_r_us,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:14:58 AM
re: ECI to Buy Laurel for $88M
I would think the employees basically got screwed here... Their options wouldn't be worth anything. So, all they can say is "I still have a job"! Look for resumes to hit the streets.
geof hollingsworth
50%
50%
geof hollingsworth,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:14:58 AM
re: ECI to Buy Laurel for $88M
Given that the sale price is less than the money invested in Laurel, and management will certainly be getting part of the proceeds, wouldn't it be more like a "high risk, NO return" business?
5urf5hop
50%
50%
5urf5hop,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:14:57 AM
re: ECI to Buy Laurel for $88M
>I doubt ECI was so stupid to screw the common >shares, because $88M would have been more than >enough to start an inhouse effort from scratch.

Really?

Just ask the ex-Procket folks. Both common and preferred got screwed. And yes, many are walking ...
Stevery
50%
50%
Stevery,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:14:57 AM
re: ECI to Buy Laurel for $88M
Just ask the ex-Procket folks. Both common and preferred got screwed. And yes, many are walking ...

Dismembering Procket was a great move by Cisco. They bought only the software portion (which was a lower price than the hardware side or the combined entity) and they took a bunch of talented software guys off the competitive market for a while.

I really doubt csco wanted to make Procket work, since the purchase occured during the same month as the CRS announcement.

And yes, screwing the common there was exactly what was required for complete dismemberment.
Stevery
50%
50%
Stevery,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:14:57 AM
re: ECI to Buy Laurel for $88M

I would think the employees basically got screwed here... Their options wouldn't be worth anything.

You're right, they'd just walk, or get lazy.

I have NEVER seen a deal that screwed the common EVER pay off for the aquirer. Not one. Even dumping the managers and handing out incentives rarely works, because you are left with the hallow shell of what used to be a team.

I doubt ECI was so stupid to screw the common shares, because $88M would have been more than enough to start an inhouse effort from scratch.

lightreceding
50%
50%
lightreceding,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:14:40 AM
re: ECI to Buy Laurel for $88M
putting the resume out there and getting another job is not so easy. The street is flooded with resumes. If it was easy to move on Redback would be vacant, as they all got screwed during the refinancing. The employees are still there just for the job. In any case this seems to be a good move for ECI. They get Laurel cheap and add to their portfolio. They do need to focus on keeping people movtivated at Laurel. But that is obvious.
DPD
50%
50%
DPD,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:14:36 AM
re: ECI to Buy Laurel for $88M
If it was easy to move on Redback would be vacant, as they all got screwed during the refinancing. The employees are still there just for the job.

What makes you an expert on the majority of employees at Redback? How do you what they do and don't want? Maybe they like it there. Maybe the company repriced their options. You shouldn't make blanket statements like that without data.
lightreceding
50%
50%
lightreceding,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:14:36 AM
re: ECI to Buy Laurel for $88M
How do you know that I don't have data?
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, September 28, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit 101
Will Barkis, Senior Technology Analyst, Orange
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, September 30, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & the Great Migration
Robert Howald, Vice President, Network Architecture, Comcast
Wednesday, October 5, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & Smart Cities
Joe Kochan, COO & Co-Founder, US Ignite
Friday, October 7, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & DOCSIS 3.1
Ty Pearman, Director, Access Architecture, Comcast
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
Global Services: The $40B Face-Off

9|26|16   |   05:53   |   (0) comments


More service providers than ever before are battling it out to win a slice of what is now a $40 billion global communications services pie, explains Ovum Principal Analyst David Molony.
LRTV Documentaries
MEC Congress: The Key Takeaways

9|22|16   |   03:25   |   (3) comments


Three key takeaways from the Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) Congress in Munich, Germany.
Wagner’s Ring
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'

9|22|16   |     |   (12) comments


Service providers can't compete with OTT players. It just isn't in their DNA. Instead, service providers need to embrace what they're good at -- providing reliable, secure connectivity.
Wagner’s Ring
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50

9|21|16   |     |   (13) comments


How do you keep your career moving forward when you're past the half-century mark?
LRTV Interviews
Peering Into the Digital Future

9|20|16   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


Nick Thomas, practice leader of digital media at Ovum, talks about how digital transformation in the technology, media and telecom sectors will enable the development of a new range of applications and services for enterprises and consumers and how the upcoming Digital Futures event in London will examine ...
LRTV Custom TV
Napatech Tackles NFV's Major Challenge

9|7|16   |   08:42   |   (0) comments


One of the main challenges for network operators introducing NFV is to combine performance and flexibility in a cost-effective way, but there is a solution, explains Napatech's Dan Joe Barry.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Optical Innovation 2016

9|6|16   |     |   (0) comments


Highlights of the 2016 Huawei Optical Innovation forum.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Are You Ready for Huawei Connect 2016?

8|31|16   |     |   (0) comments


Join us for an exclusive sneak peak of Huawei Connect, an integrated conference for the global ICT ecosystem taking place in Shanghai.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: UXP's Gemini Waghmare

8|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
LRTV Custom TV
F5 Virtual Network Function Integrations With Partner Orchestration Platform

8|24|16   |   6:38   |   (0) comments


F5's Kishore Patnam, product manager for F5's service provider solutions, discusses why service providers are moving towards virtualization and how his clients are utilizing F5's solutions.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: Intel's Alexis Black Bjorlin

8|17|16   |   06:23   |   (0) comments


Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Accelerating Telecom Digital Transformation With Nominum DNS

8|1|16   |   12:04   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's Steve Saunders gets an update from Nominum CEO Gary Messiana on how his company is helping carriers on the digital transformation journey.
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/21/2016
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/22/2016
Comcast Will Go Wireless in 2017
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/20/2016
Sprint CEO: We'll Lease Spectrum as Soon as Possible
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/20/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
You Thought Your Customer Service Was Unreliable... Click Here
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.