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JDSU Switches Acquisition Strategy

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
3/22/2001

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- OFC2001 -- The days of JDS Uniphase Inc. (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU) buying huge optical component companies like SDL Inc. (SDLI) and ETEK Dynamics are over, according to Charles J. Abbe, the company’s president and chief executive officer.

“Our acquisition strategy has shifted towards buying next-generation technology. Our previous acquisitions were capacity additions,” Abbe told Light Reading in an interview here at the OFC show.

In other words, JDSU will now focus on buying smaller companies -– the ones that can provide it with cutting-edge technologies. That’s good news for the burgeoning community of optical component startups. In the current arctic market climate, many of them now need just such an exit strategy.

“Our position in the industry means that we should at least get a call when those companies are looking at an equity event,” Abbe said.

Abbe was also cautiously optimistic about the possibility of an up-tick in the optical networking industry’s fortunes.
He added: “One thing that is not in doubt is the size of the market. It’s not a question of ‘if’ it’s going to happen -- it’s ‘when.’ ”

JDSU announced a slew of new products at the OFC show -– including Raman amplifiers, 40-Gbit/s amplifiers and modulators, and widgets for use in long-haul applications (see OFC Report: Day One and JDSU Readies OFC Blitz).

The company now has 25,000 employees.

-- Stephen Saunders, US editor, Light Reading http://www.lightreading.com

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