Optical/IP Networks

Agere Sets Pricing Date and Range

This afternoon Agere Systems Inc., Lucent Technologies Inc.’s (NYSE: LU) optical component spinoff, tentatively set its initial public offering for the week of March 19. The company plans to sell 500 million shares in a price range between $12 and $14, which should raise between $6 billion and $7 billion.

The company has revised its S-1 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission three times in the last month, changing the number of shares from 370 million to 500 million. But the price range has been lowered from $15-$20, keeping the size of the deal about the same.

After the IPO, Agere will officially no longer be a Lucent subsidiary. But Lucent will still control about 90 percent of the company’s voting rights and 72.3 percent of its shares (see Agere Aims for $8.5 Billion IPO). Lucent is expected to divest this control in the second half of 2001.

But that won’t be the end of the Agere/Lucent connection. The two companies have entered into a three-year agreement that requires Lucent to purchase at least $800 million worth of products during the first year and at least $1 billion worth during each succeeding year, according to the S-1. Lucent has traditionally been Agere’s largest customer, accounting for about 25 percent of its sales in 2000.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter is the lead underwriter, with Bear Stearns, J.P. Morgan & Co. (Nasdaq: JPM), and Salomon Smith Barney co-managing the deal.

-- Marguerite Reardon, senior editor, Light Reading http://www.lightreading.com

Sign In