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Optical/IP

Huber's OCG on Ice

John Spirtos, the vice chairman of OCG Ventures LLC (formerly Optical Capital Group), has a new job, but he's still got the same boss. Spirtos is now Senior VP of mergers and acquisitions at Corvis Corp. (Nasdaq: CORV), where he'll work for Corvis founder and CEO David Huber, who owns a majority of OCG.

Spirtos will stay on the board of OCG. But his departure leaves many questions about the VC outfit that focused on optical components technology -- the kind of startups that got hit hardest in the telecom downturn.

OCG did not respond to a request for comment on this story. But, according to Andy Backman, Corvis's VP of investor and public relations, OCG "is still functioning but is not making any new investments." The firm still maintains a few fulltime employees, who serve on startup boards and work to keep OCG's portfolio companies flush with cash.

It is not a shock that OCG is dormant; the firm has been quiet for a few months. The most recent transactions announced by OCG happened early in 2003. It contributed to RBN Inc.'s $11 million Series C funding, announced in January 2003, and it helped two of its portfolio companies -- Codeon and Quantum Photonics -- combine to form Covega Corp.

When it started in March 2000, OCG focused on funding optical networking startups, several of which shared the distinction of being part-owned by David Huber and being suppliers to Corvis (see A Survey of the Corvis Food Chain and Corvis Keeps Gratings in the Family). Later, the firm backed some systems companies that weren't directly in the Corvis/Huber fun factory, including RBN and Hyperchip Inc.

Spirtos is a longtime member of Huber's inner circle. He managed another Huber concern -- HRLD Venture Partners -- from October 1998 to May 2000.

Huber has made a habit of surrounding himself with folks he knows well. Corvis's chief financial officer, Lynn Anderson, used to serve as OCG's CFO. Corvis senior VP, Kim Larsen, is Huber's brother-in-law. And Corvis president, Jim Bannantine, is the former CEO of Dorsal Networks, a company Corvis bought for more than $90 million. Dorsal's two largest shareholders when it was acquired were David Huber and OCG (see Corvis Dorsal Deal: A Huber Spin-In?).

Cozy little family, eh?

These days, the Huber empire is focused on a different game (see The David Huber Game). It now operates an optical network -- Corvis subsidiary Broadwing Communications LLC -- rather than building gear for service providers. With a market capitalization of more than $1 billion, more than $300 million in cash and investments, and an M&A guy onboard, the are some good indications that the company will be looking at some acquisitions.

Corvis will announce its fourth quarter and year-end 2003 earnings on Feb. 12.

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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truelight 12/5/2012 | 2:30:55 AM
re: Huber's OCG on Ice Can someone comment on Dr. Hubers antics if they are legal or not. It seems that the monies he raised in Corvis are being used to his own ends versus his investors.
pavlovsdog 12/5/2012 | 2:30:54 AM
re: Huber's OCG on Ice The moves are all accessible to public view. If you don't like them, sell the stock.
fw23 12/5/2012 | 2:30:53 AM
re: Huber's OCG on Ice Dr Huber is a scientist and a man of the highest ethics. Everything he is doing is for the
investors. The board of directors, the investors
and almost everyone except the bashers and DOT-BOMB investors has full confidence in
Dr. Huber to execute on his plans to turn Corvis
into the LEADERSHIP communications company of the new all-optical era.

Anyone who invested in Corvis last year has to be pleased with the ROI and the leadership
of the company.

And I expect that the long-term investors in Corvis will be handsomely rewarded for their trust in the coming
years of continued growth in the stock.

BIG DEALS are in the works and within the next
year, Corvis should be busting out all over
in undersea, equipment and network construction.
Clown14 12/5/2012 | 2:30:51 AM
re: Huber's OCG on Ice HIGHEST Ethics my ASS!! What was the corrupt deals with Qwest and a new company emerging called Broadwing!!! He is lucky he has not been endited with Joe Nachio and Bernie Ebberts!!!!
ksig25 12/5/2012 | 2:30:51 AM
re: Huber's OCG on Ice I was waiting for you to come to Dr. Huber's aide! So tell me, does all of the wild stuff Corvis will be busting out with include the rockets, orbital networks (wtf?) and lunar and martian networks you were describing to us on the Corvis board a few weeks ago?

I swear, I wish my girlfriend blew me as much as you do Dr. Huber.

ksig25

fw23 12/5/2012 | 2:30:50 AM
re: Huber's OCG on Ice No, probably not yet. I think the brain-boys
at the pentagon want corvis to focus on building
up a world-wide ALL-OPTICAL network first. But
trans-atomosperic technologies would be a
growth area in terms of working with DOD.

Corvis provides a unique value proposition in
that they can build/deploy/operate networks
for DOD in total secracy. But Rumsfeld and
the boys at the pentagon would probably like
to integrate other things into that network
so we can go after countries where there isn't
enough fiber.

I also think that there are interesting uses
of Corvis technology in space. The space program
is our future and our president has decided that
we will have a base on the moon and go to mars.
People are talking about a mars mission costing
400 billion dollars. 1% of that contract would
be 40 billion dollars for corvis. If I were
making the decisons in the big room, I would
not turn away from money like that.

You claim not to be a
basher, but you attack Dr. Huber and Corvis at
every opportunity. Why? What did Dr. Huber do
to you?

fw23 12/5/2012 | 2:30:49 AM
re: Huber's OCG on Ice HIGHEST Ethics my ASS!! What was the corrupt deals with Qwest and a new company emerging called Broadwing!!! He is lucky he has not been endited with Joe Nachio and Bernie Ebberts!!!!


I guess Dr. Huber should count himself lucky
that american justice isn't run by dot-BOMB
speculators and corvis bashers.

There was nothing wrong with what was done
at Qwest.

And Broadwing is on its way to being the most
profitable provider on earth due to the
LIGHT based networks provided by corvis.
And in america, people don't go to jail for
building up a successful business. If you
don't like it, go to Iran or Canada.
l2d 12/5/2012 | 2:30:48 AM
re: Huber's OCG on Ice Uhhhh..."total secrecy" except for broadcasts by fw23 on LR message boards, right??
LightningMan5 12/5/2012 | 2:30:48 AM
re: Huber's OCG on Ice fw23:
What technology are you refering to that woul earn CORV 40 billion in revs? I am a CORV shareholder and like the story but not following you on the 1% statement. Please elaborate.
truelight 12/5/2012 | 2:30:47 AM
re: Huber's OCG on Ice Idiot
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