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Optical components

Cisco Cuts Some Fiber From Its Diet

Fibercore Ltd. apparently didn't size up as much of a core business at Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) anymore.

In what's viewed as Cisco's first-ever divestiture, Cisco has sold Fibercore, a U.K.-based maker of specialty optical fibers, to H.I.G. Capital Europe. Financial terms were not disclosed, but it's believed that the value of the deal was less than $100 million. (See Cisco Sets Fibercore Free .)

Cisco obtained Fibercore through its $6.9 billion acquisition of Scientific Atlanta Inc. in 2005, and has been operating it as a wholly-owned subsidiary ever since. S-A, a key cable industry supplier during its day, ran Fibercore as a U.K.-based subsidiary following a $25 million purchase of ATx Telecom Systems Inc., a firm that specialized in 1550 nanometer fiber optic technologies, including Erbium Doped Fiber Amplifiers (EDFAs), in 1996.

Fast-forwarding to today, Fibercore's products have extended well beyond telecom and video and data transport to very non-Cisco-y markets like long-haul airliners, business jets and space exploration vehicles.

Why this matters
Divesting a company for less than $100 million may not put much of a dent in a company the size of Cisco, but the sale may signal that Cisco is in the mood for a bit of corporate refocusing. Following a massive string of acquisitions in recent years, Cisco may be looking to sell off other non-core assets to help trim up its waistline a bit more. (See Cisco Offers Softer Switch, Router Sales.)

For more
Fibercore's got a long history (it's 28 years old, in fact), and Light Reading picked up on some tidbits in recent years:

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:12:38 PM
re: Cisco Cuts Some Fiber From Its Diet

Is this really their first-ever divestiture of a company?


Could be. I can't think of another offhand.


(Note that I'm talking about selloffs. Cisco has *killed* off a number of technologies and startups internally, I'm sure. But have they ever wrapped something up with a bow and sold it?)

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:12:37 PM
re: Cisco Cuts Some Fiber From Its Diet

Thanks, Mark.  I'll need to clarify that claim in the story, even if this one goes back 14+ years ago. JB


update: holding off on a clarification for now until we find evidence of them selling off an acquired company , but good that we're finding some other examples and popping them up here. JB 

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:12:37 PM
re: Cisco Cuts Some Fiber From Its Diet

Yeah, i had to do some looking around, since that was how it was presented to me, so I couched that a bit... But I can't recall any other instances where Cisco sold off a piece of its business or a subsidiary like this one. Anyone else remember them doing something like this before?  JB


 


 

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 5:12:37 PM
re: Cisco Cuts Some Fiber From Its Diet

 


I know they tried to sell Cerent (heck it was pitched to me).  They didn't get a price they wanted so they moved it to India for sustaining.  Is Pirelli still around? 


seven


PS - I also had their DSLAM business pitched to me about 10 years ago.

spc_markl 12/5/2012 | 5:12:37 PM
re: Cisco Cuts Some Fiber From Its Diet

Guys,


Here is one: http://www.allbusiness.com/company-activities-management/operations-customer/7237490-1.html


Mark

spc_markl 12/5/2012 | 5:12:36 PM
re: Cisco Cuts Some Fiber From Its Diet

JB,


I was talking about DWDM acquired by Cisco.


Mark

spc_markl 12/5/2012 | 5:12:36 PM
re: Cisco Cuts Some Fiber From Its Diet

seven,


I believe Pirelli was killed.


Mark

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:12:36 PM
re: Cisco Cuts Some Fiber From Its Diet

If we're talking about the same Pirelli, ADB bought them last year, or at least the "Broadband Solutions' unit that sells broadband gateways and IPTV set-tops.  JB


 


 

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:12:36 PM
re: Cisco Cuts Some Fiber From Its Diet

Also, here's evidence of a more recent one... from 2001, when Cisco sold off its optical manufacturing unit. JB


 


 

upand2theright 12/5/2012 | 5:12:35 PM
re: Cisco Cuts Some Fiber From Its Diet

Pixstream ($369M) was sold back to its management team in Canada around 2001 for about $10M.   The management team then sold off parts of Pixstream for about $40M and some of those proceeds were used to start Sandvine, the DPI vendor.

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