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NeoPhotonics to buy EMCORE's tunable laser and optical transceiver lines

NeoPhotonics (NASDAQ:NPTN) has agreed to buy the tunable laser and optical transceiver product lines of EMCORE Corp. (NASDAQ:EMKR) for $17.5 million. The sale is part of EMCORE’s ongoing restructuring and follows the sale of the company’s space photovoltaics division earlier this year.

   The assets involved include accounts receivable, fixed assets, inventory, and intellectual property for the EMCORE’s external cavity laser (ECL)-based integrable tunable laser assembly (ITLA), micro-ITLA (see "Dual micro integrable tunable laser touted by EMCORE"), tunable XFP transceiver, and integrated coherent transmitter (ICT) products for 10-, 40-, 100-, and 400-Gbps applications. They do not include EMCORE’s Broadband Fiber Optics products, such as CATV transmitters and modules; fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) transceivers; Indium Phosphide (InP)-based lasers, photodiodes, and modulators; RF over fiber satellite communications products; video transport equipment; and microwave and specialty photonics products.  While these products accounted for about 25% of EMCORE’s revenue so far this year, "the profitability levels from these product lines have not been positive historically," EMCORE said via a press release. Therefore, selling these assets should eliminate losses and enable the company to focus its resources elsewhere, the company added.

  "The sale of our tunable laser and transceiver product lines is an important step in transforming the company and paving our path to generating consistent positive cash flow," according to Dr. Hong Hou, EMCORE's president and CEO who has offered his resignation from the company. "Following the closing of the previously announced sale of the company's space photovoltaics business and the sale of the tunable laser and transceiver product lines, we expect improved operating results going forward with renewed focus on our Broadband Business."

  EMCORE says it is confident that its remaining broadband fiber-optics business can achieve EBITDA breakeven by September 2015 "with some restructuring of corporate infrastructure," in the words of the press release.

  For its part, NeoPhotonics expects the transaction to close in January of next year and new assets to be accretive to revenues by the second quarter of 2015. EMCORE has supported the products from its facility in Newark, CA; NeoPhotonics expects to integrate this business into in its existing Silicon Valley facilities.

  "EMCORE’s narrow-linewidth tunable laser product line is highly complementary to our broad existing portfolio of optical components for 100-Gbps coherent transport systems, and this acquisition significantly expands our footprint in this rapidly growing segment," said Tim Jenks, Chairman and CEO of NeoPhotonics. "EMCORE’s external cavity laser tunable laser has the narrowest linewidth in the industry, which we believe will become increasingly important for advanced modulation schemes at 400G and beyond. Combining this business into NeoPhotonics will allow us to provide customers with a full product suite that serves the entire coherent market."

  NeoPhotonics will pay $1.5 million of the purchase price in cash, with the balance in a promissory note.