Nokia Siemens dumps optical network hardware business

Dec. 4, 2012
Business is sold to Marlin Equity Partners and will focus on mobile broadband.

"Nokia Siemens Networks is getting out of the optical network hardware business,"'s sister website, Lightwave. The company has agreed to sell the unit to Marlin Equity Partners and focus on mobile broadband, writes Lightwave's editorial director, Stephen Hardy.

Marlin, a private investment firm with more than $1 billion in assets, intends to operate the newly acquired optical hardware business as an independent company. This is Marlin's second recent purchase in the fiber-optic network hardware space. The company announced in October plans to purchase the intelligent bandwidth management business of Sycamore Networks.

Related news:Nokia Siemens fires 57.6 Tbps over multimode fiber

According to a press release announcing the deal, Marlin's partners will form a new Munich-based company that “intends to act as a consolidator, building an industry leader in the fragmented optical networking sector.”

“We are making a major commitment to this sector, and have significant capital under management that we intend to use as a catalyst for consolidation,” said Nick Kaiser, a co-founder and partner at Marlin Equity Partners.

Related news:2012 report finds optical network hardware market shrinking

The new business will be led by its existing management team; Herbert Merz has been nominated as chief executive officer. As many as 1,900 employees – mainly in Germany, Portugal, and China – from the optical business unit and related functions are expected to transfer to the new company.

For its part, Nokia Siemens Networks will turn its attention full-time to the mobile broadband space.

“During 2012 Nokia Siemens Networks has made tremendous progress in the transformation of our company to being the world’s mobile broadband specialist," asserts Rajeev Suri, Nokia Siemens Networks' CEO.

Suri adds, "Our strategic focus on our core markets has enabled us to concentrate our energy and investment in areas such as LTE where we have strengthened our global leadership position. This transaction builds on that momentum and aims to provide a new home for the optical networks business with the focus, resources, and strategic flexibility to address the opportunities in the optical market.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013.

Full story: Nokia Siemens Networks to sell optical network hardware business to Marlin Equity Partners (

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