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Optical components

Optical Guts

1:50 PM --
    A lot of people think they can get to profitability by themselves. They can stop losing money by themselves, but when you talk about doing a leapfrog, you really need a macro-merger.
    — Georgio Anania, former Bookham CEO, in his recent Light Reading interview.
I think it was about a year ago that David Gudmundson -- head of the JDSU (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU) acquisition team, basically -- told me JDSU had no interest in buying Avanex Corp. (Nasdaq: AVNX) or Bookham Inc. (Nasdaq: BKHM; London: BHM).

Why? Because they were "so damn ugly." When a PR person balked at the quote, Gudmundson leaned into my tape recorder and said, "SO. DAMN. UGLY."

It's hard to deny. Not long ago, industry watchers were wondering whether Avanex or Bookham would ever get to stability. JDSU, which would probably keep the leader's seat no matter who mergers with whom, had no real reason to take on either company.

That doesn't change the fact that the components sector remains oversupplied. But shabby market conditions and limited resources prevented the other big players from absorbing each other. The recently deposed Anania says Bookham had the guts to make something big happen; what it lacked was the cash. We've got the full interview here.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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