JDS Uniphase announce $17.7 billion merger

JDS Uniphase, the optical components maker, has announced today, February 6, 2001, that the United States Department of Justice will permit the $17.7 billion merger with rival firm SDL.

Approval for the merger came after JDS said it had agreed to sell its Swiss laser unit to Nortel Networks in a stock deal worth as much as $3 billion.

The merger now remains subject only to the approval of JDS Uniphase and SDL stockholders and the closing of the sale of the Zurich subsidiary to Nortel Networks.

The Zurich plant is said to be one of the leading manufacturers of pump laser chips, which are greatly increasing the amount of information that can be carried over the internet.

Following completion of the transaction, the Zurich subsidiary will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Nortel Networks.

The pending sale transaction does not include JDS Uniphase laser packaging operations in the United Kingdom. In addition, JDS Uniphase and Nortel Networks have entered into certain other purchase/supply contracts with each other, which are expected to enhance their ongoing relationship.

‘We are pleased that the agreement with Nortel Networks permits us to complete our merger with SDL,’ said Jozef Straus, Ph.D, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chairman of JDS Uniphase. ‘We now look forward to quickly completing the transaction and moving ahead with the merger of our businesses in order to exploit the synergies that will enable us to serve our customers better.’

The merger between JDS and SDL was originally seen to give the merged company a dominant position in the production of some types of lasers, prompting Nortel to express concern that the merger might give JDS and SDL a monopoly on the production of some optical components.

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