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News bites: Coherent's third suitor ups the ante

Also included in our late afternoon summary of news and comment: stats from the Super Bowl of Wi-Fi and Dell'Oro projects growth for the CBRS RAN market.

Phil Harvey

February 12, 2021

3 Min Read
News bites: Coherent's third suitor ups the ante

Also included in our late afternoon summary of news and comment: stats from the Super Bowl of Wi-Fi and Dell'Oro projects growth for the CBRS RAN market.

A set of suitors

Coherent has a third suitor. The photonics manufacturer said today it received an unsolicited acquisition proposal from II-VI to buy it for roughly $6.5 billion in combined cash and stock.

Lumentum offered to buy Coherent for a combined price of $5.7 billion on January 19. Earlier this week, MKS Instruments also made a cash and stock offer for Coherent; its bid was worth approximately $6 billion. The Coherent board of directors hasn't publicly said which company it prefers.

But, walking away from Lumentum will be costly. "Coherent would owe Lumentum a $217.6 million breakup fee should it walk away from their deal for a better one," noted The Wall Street Journal.

"We firmly believe our proposal is far superior to Coherent's existing merger agreement with Lumentum and the recent acquisition proposal from MKS Instruments, as it is a more compelling strategic fit and would provide Coherent's shareholders with meaningful upside opportunity," said Chuck Mattera, II-IV's CEO, in a statement released today. "We believe we would have significant and diversified opportunities to accelerate our growth through complementary technology platforms, to increase our competitiveness by using scale across the value chain, to demonstrate deeper market intelligence and expertise, and to further diversify our businesses and revenue streams."

II-IV made headlines earlier this week for its better than expected earnings growth, thanks partly to its ability to quickly realize financial gains from its acquisition of Finisar.

Extreme data usage

Even though this year's Super Bowl had fewer fans than ever due to the pandemic, it was still contained environment with thousands of people using smartphones, tablets and whatever else to record, share and consume massive amounts of video. Extreme Networks, which provides much of the Wi-Fi infrastructure for the big game, said the peak network utilization hit 7.9 Gbit/s, which is 2.5 Gbit/s lower than last year's peak but with a much smaller crowd. The networking vendor said it saw 19,875 devices connect inside the venue.

The CBRS run continues

With the auction for licensed CBRS spectrum now in the rearview mirror, Dell'Oro Group estimates that total CBRS radio access network (RAN) investments will approach $2 billion over the next four years. That represents a small slice of the overall market – approaching a mere 1% of the cumulative global RAN investment for the 2020-2025 period. Dell'Oro expects fixed wireless access and capacity augmentation for mobile broadband to dominate the initial CBRS RAN capex mix, and be followed by investments in enterprise applications. CBRS spectrum is also poised to become a key element of cable operator arsenals as they look to use CBRS-powered small cells to offload MVNO traffic in high-density areas.

In other news…

Have a good weekend, fiber fans.

Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Light Reading's Jeff Baumgartner contributed to this report.

About the Author(s)

Phil Harvey

Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Phil Harvey has been a Light Reading writer and editor for more than 18 years combined. He began his second tour as the site's chief editor in April 2020.

His interest in speed and scale means he often covers optical networking and the foundational technologies powering the modern Internet.

Harvey covered networking, Internet infrastructure and dot-com mania in the late 90s for Silicon Valley magazines like UPSIDE and Red Herring before joining Light Reading (for the first time) in late 2000.

After moving to the Republic of Texas, Harvey spent eight years as a contributing tech writer for D CEO magazine, producing columns about tech advances in everything from supercomputing to cellphone recycling.

Harvey is an avid photographer and camera collector – if you accept that compulsive shopping and "collecting" are the same.

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