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Calix buys Occam – more telecom last mile consolidation underway September 16, 2010

Posted by TelUS Consulting Services in CLEC catagory.
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Calix (NYSE: CALX) has decided to go to the M&A table again to acquire fellow last mile vendor Occam Networks (Nasdaq: OCNW) for about $171 million in cash and stock.

Pending Occam Networks’ stockholder approval and necessary regulatory clearances, Calix said in a release that it will wrap up the acquisition in Q4 2010 or Q1 2011.

Although Calix did not immediately reveal the management structure of the soon to be combined company, it did say in a release that one non-management member of the current Occam Networks Board of Directors is expected to be appointed to serve on the Calix Board of Directors.

Carl Russo, president and chief executive officer of Calix, in a release heralded the deal as a way to beef up its IP and Ethernet capabilities. “By combining Occam Networks’ expertise in IP and Ethernet, Calix’s strength in fiber access, and both companies’ experience in copper access, we believe there is a clear opportunity to further enhance the Calix Unified Access portfolio, accelerate its future innovation, and enable greater broadband deployment by communications service providers globally,” he said.

Erik Keith, Principal Analyst Broadband Infrastructure, Current Analysis, said that while there are a lot of product similarities between the two companies, Occam will add much needed Ethernet experience. “Clearly it’s a power/land grab for Calix, but on the product side, looks like a ton of overlap,” he said. “But Occam has long time IP/Ethernet expertise that will undoubtedly benefit Calix.”

This is not the first time Calix or Occam has been to the M&A table. To beef up their respective last mile fiber solution sets, Calix bought out the former Optical Solutions while Occam purchased the former Terawave.

On a larger trend scale, the Calix/Occam marriage illustrates the ongoing consolidation trend of the last mile vendor market over the past decade. Looking to cash in on Verizon’s early FTTH move, Motorola bought out the former Optical Solutions, while Tellabs bought out the former AFC both of which had been initial pioneers in first generation Broadband PON (BPON) products.

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