Ciena makes further access acquisitions

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Ciena has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Tibit Communications, having acquired Benu Networks. Tibit and Benu are both focused on simplifying broadband access networks through next-generation PON technologies and advanced subscriber management, respectively.

The acquisitions of both companies are designed to, individually and together, complement Ciena’s existing portfolio of solutions for broadband access use cases, including residential broadband, enterprise business services, and fixed-wireless access, which represent a significant addressable market for Ciena. In addition, the acquisitions will strengthen Ciena’s expertise in these areas, with the addition of a combined 60+ talented engineers with significant experience in access technologies.

Tibit combines PON-specific hardware and OS into a micro-pluggable transceiver that can be easily integrated into a carrier-grade Ethernet switch. Unlike the closed and proprietary approaches of traditional Optical Line Terminal (OLT) vendors, Tibit’s open, microplug OLT technology enables rapid PON deployment in any environment. The acquisition will enable Ciena to build on its market traction and accelerate its time to market, specifically with more vertically integrated, next-generation PON solutions that support residential, enterprise, and mobility use cases, including 10G XGS-PON with development paths to deliver 25G and higher PON in the future.

Ciena and Tibit have a strong existing relationship. Ciena has been an investor in Tibit since its initial funding round in 2016 and is currently Tibit’s largest shareholder. Ciena is also Tibit’s largest customer, successfully leveraging Tibit’s products and technology within its portfolio of broadband access solutions.

Scott McFeely, Senior Vice President, Global Products and Services, Ciena says: “The acquisitions of Tibit Communications and Benu Networks will extend our ability to support customers’ next-generation metro and edge strategies as service providers globally accelerate investments to modernize their networks and improve connectivity at the network edge. Tibit’s high-speed PON technologies and Benu’s subscriber management products, combined with Ciena’s current access and edge portfolio, will enable us to offer broader, more complete, and fully integrated broadband access solutions that combine routing, subscriber management, and PON features and functionality.”

Adds Edward Boyd, Vice President of Engineering and Chief Technology Officer of Tibit Communications: “The global PON market is growing at a rapid pace and this acquisition will provide the opportunity to take Tibit’s differentiated products to market at scale through Ciena’s extensive service provider customer base. And, as a combined team, we will continue to support and leverage Tibit’s existing network of relationships with system integrators and other equipment vendors.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Ciena will acquire the remaining shares of Tibit that it does not already own in a cash-free, debt-free transaction currently valued at approximately $210m, with the merger consideration to be paid in cash. In addition, Ciena will enter into certain employee retention arrangements in connection with the transaction. The Tibit transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies as well as Tibit’s shareholders. It is expected to close during Ciena’s fiscal first quarter 2023, subject to customary closing conditions.

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