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Optical/IP

Ciena Takes Out World Wide Packets

Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) announced today a deal to buy privately held World Wide Packets Inc. , signifying the importance Ciena is placing on the carrier Ethernet market.

On top of that, Ciena announced it has won a multiyear deal to supply WWP's equipment to AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T).

"Ciena is placing an additional bet on a market opportunity where we've already proven we can be successful," CEO Gary Smith said on a conference call with analysts today.

Ciena is offering up $200 million in cash and 3.4 million shares of stock, worth roughly $90 million, for World Wide Packets. Ciena will also assume $15 million worth of WWP's debt.

WWP's offices in Spokane, Wash., would stay in place after the acquisition. Ciena officials said they are trying to retain WWP's 145 employees.

The deal, which doesn't require the approval of Ciena's shareholders, is expected to close by April.

Ciena's carrier Ethernet story most recently has focused on the CN 3000 Ethernet Access Series, which is being used in the BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) 21CN network. But that box is a relabeled version of equipment from ANDA Networks Inc. The WWP acquisition would give Ciena an Ethernet platform and sales force of its own.

WWP recorded about $30 million in revenues last year, Smith said.

Light Reading will update this story as more information becomes available.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

vlui 12/5/2012 | 3:49:33 PM
re: Ciena Takes Out World Wide Packets 10X the revenue sounds good. But do we know if WWP is profitable or close to?

They've raised north of $70M. Was this a good deal for WWP? Could there have been any other buyers that would fit the bill?
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