Has Lightwave Micro Found a Buyer?
Sources say startup NeoPhotonics Corp. is in negotiations to purchase the assets of the shuttered company. NeoPhotonics officers and board members did not return calls for comment before press time.
NeoPhotonics is developing planar optical components including splitters and amplifiers. Part of the company's expertise lies in thick-film substrates, applied to wafers using a proprietary process called Laser Reactive Deposition. A NeoPhotonics subsidiary called NanoGram Corp. is seeking ways to apply the technology outside the telecom industry.
Based in Fremont, Calif., NeoPhotonics has collected more than $35 million in funding this year (see NeoPhotonics Gets $35M) and Ardesta Invests in NeoPhotonics).
Lightwave Micro was shut down late in September (see Obituary: Lightwave Microsystems) after trying to stabilize its business by focusing on Arrayed Waveguide Gratings (AWGs). While it's unclear what the terms of the sale would be, NeoPhotonics is probably getting a bargain, considering the fact that the recent sale of Agere Systems' (NYSE: AGR/A) optical component business garnered $40 million (see TriQuint to Acquire Agere's Optics).
Lightwave Micro had begun life on the polymer bandwagon, hoping to fashion thermo-optic switches from exotic materials. As the optical boom faded, then-CEO John Midgley steered Lightwave Micro towards AWGs, emphasising the ease of integrating them with other components.
— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading