Coriant takes its place in the optical network industry

Coriant, the creation of Marlin Equity Partners' acquisition of Sycamore Networks and Nokia Siemens Networks' (NSN) optical unit, made its formal debut in the optical industry at this week's OFC/NFOEC trade show.

After the deal is completed in the first half of this year, Nokia Siemens Networks will transfer its optical unit to Coriant.

Marlin signed a deal in December to acquire NSN's optical business for an undisclosed sum.

The VC said at the time that it announced the deal to acquire NSN's unit that it plans to advance its standing in the optical sector while leveraging its $1 billion of capital under management "to act as a consolidator."

Leading the new company will be Herbert Merz, who has been designated president and CEO.

Over the past year Coriant has made some progress particularly on the 100G front, winning deals with both XO Communications and TeliaSonera International Carrier.

Still, the company trails other dominant players such as Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Ciena (Nasdaq: CIEN) and Infinera (Nasdaq: INFN) in both 100G and the overall optical market segment.

At the time the deal to acquire NSN was announced, Dana Cooperson, leader of Ovum's Network Infrastructure Telecoms practice, said that "NSN's optical business has been slipping for years with no clear plan to improve."

Given the ownership change and uncertainty of what Marlin will do with the business, it's possible that Coriant's competitors will play that up to gain an advantage in new and existing accounts.

 For more:
- see the release

Special report: The top wireline mergers & acquisitions in 2012

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