Calix wraps up acquisition of Occam Networks

Calix (NYSE: CALX) has at long last completed its acquisition of last-mile access rival Occam Networks, following a delay by Occam shareholders, who in January postponed a vote to approve the deal because of court requirements that it reveal more about the deal to stockholders.

Although Occam agreed to be acquired by Calix in September for $171 million, a group of shareholders that owned that owned about 20 percent of Occam filed suit to block the deal because they were selling the company "just as revenues are beginning to ramp" from a series of broadband stimulus project wins.

The cash and stock deal includes about $83.3 million in cash and approximately 6.4 million shares of Calix common stock. Holders of certain outstanding options were entitled to receive an aggregate of approximately $10.8 million in cash, and Calix assumed certain options to purchase an aggregate of approximately 636,000 shares of Calix common stock and assumed certain restricted stock units for an aggregate of approximately 65,000 shares of Calix common stock.

With the acquisition of Occam complete, Geoff Burke, Calix senior vice president of corporate marketing, said in an interview with FierceTelecom that the focus is all about two sides of acceleration. "One is accelerating the unified access vision itself and really reaching out and leveraging the strong Occam engineering folks and aligning them with our path of unified access by pushing Ethernet and fiber-based solutions," he said. "In addition to that, there's the acceleration of options for our customers with more feet on the street from a sales and support perspective."

The newly combined company will also have greater scale with over 900 customers worldwide, including 72 percent of the U.S. local exchange carriers in addition to over 600 fiber access customers and 400 commercial video customers.

With the acquisition complete, Calix also made some changes to its board. Robert Finzi, a board of directors member and managing partner of Sprout Group, has resigned. Taking Finzi's place is Thomas Pardun, a former non-employee member of Occam's board of directors, has been appointed to Calix's board of directors.

One opportunity that Calix wants to play up with its acquisition of Occam is expanding their presence in broadband stimulus projects that many tier two service providers are embarking on now after securing ARRA grants for last mile and middle mile network projects. Prior to the acquisition, both Calix and Occam had been named by various Tier 2 service providers as their last mile vendor of choice for their last mile broadband stimulus projects.

"From a stimulus perspective, I think we calculated we're only 15 percent along the way in terms of vendor selections so there's a long way to go and we're looking forward to looking to earning the rest of these things as they become available," Burke said.  

The acquisition also has implications outside of the U.S. as well. While Calix was gaining continued presence with Caribbean-based service providers including Bahamas Telecommunications Company Limited (BTC), it now gains access to Occam's growing base of European service provider customers.

"We were already growing internationally, but this accelerates this process as Occam had expanded its reach further in terms of geographic coverage," Burke said. "I think it speeds up our timetable to become a truly global vendor."

For more:
- see the release
- here's FierceIPTV's take

Related articles:
Occam shareholders postpone vote on Calix acquisition
Calix to buy Occam Networks
Calix ponies up $171 million to buy Occam Networks
Calix unveils Initial Public Offering pricing
FierceTelecom Leaders: Bob Howard-Anderson, President and CEO, Occam Networks