The ZJF Group of China has acquired Firecomms, a manufacturer of transceivers for consumer plastic optical fiber (POF). The deal, announced yesterday, is the first technology acquisition of an Irish high-tech company by a Chinese corporation, Firecomms says.
The deal guarantees €5 million investment in R&D, together with the expansion of Firecomms’ engineering team from 18 to 30 people over the next 12 months. The agreement also will facilitate the expansion of Firecomms’ operations in mainland China, the company says.
RELATED NEWS: SMC, NYCE, Firecomms form POF networking partnership
The ZJF Group is an integrated POF system and solutions provider. Established in 1994, the company sells to over 100 countries, and has supply partnerships worldwide for illumination products with large retailers such as Walmart, Target, and B&Q.
"For some time now, mainland China has been our largest market,” said Firecomms CEO Declan O'Mahoney. “As the ZJF Group is a major global player in this sector, today’s announcement not only allows us to guarantee investment capital and job growth for the future, it also provides us with access to the world’s largest marketplace for our technology.”
“Our acquisition of Firecomms is driven by the recent decision by various provincial governments to classify plastic optical fiber as a major construction focus across China,” said Xuping Zheng, chairman of the ZJF Group. "Delivering this infrastructure with copper cables would result in over one million tons of CO2 emissions for China and would be impossible to implement as the demand for copper would far outweigh the world’s supply. China is already the largest manufacturer of plastic optical fiber and we are combining those huge resources with Firecomms’ leading technology.”
Added O’Mahoney, “This increased investment in R&D, coupled with access to the broad resources of the ZJF Group, will be hugely advantageous for our customers. In addition to giving us the ability to offer complete integrated networking solutions to our customers, the investment and access to a fast-growing marketplace will result in rapid development of POF solutions, and reduced costs for this reliable, easy to use technology.
Shareholders in Firecomms included Atlantic Bridge, ACT Venture Capital, Swisscom Ventures, Alps Electric, and Enterprise Ireland.