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18 April 2007


3S Photonics launched on completion of Avanex France sale

After the initial agreement announced on 8 March, optical communications component and module maker Avanex Corp of Fremont, CA, USA has finalized the sale of Avanex France S.A, to the subsidiary’s director Didier Sauvage and France-based Global Research Company (owned by entrepreneur Alexandre Krivine). Formerly Alcatel Optronics until 2003, the firm has now become 3S Photonics, based in Marcoussis, France.

Avanex has paid the purchasers nearly $17.3m in anticipated operating capital, including current liabilities for previous restructuring activities. Avanex maintains a 10% stake as well as privileged commercial partnerships, and has retained the optical interface activity that was previously carried out by Avanex France.

The new board of 3S Photonics includes Didier Sauvage as chief operating officer (responsible for R&D) and main shareholder Alexandre Krivine as president and chief executive officer. Assisting them, Yannick Bailly is vice president of marketing and Michel Privat is vice president of sales. Etienne Barbry is vice president of finance.
3S Photonics has over 100 staff, specialized in semiconductor manufacturing (epitaxy, wafer and die processing, dicing, etc), assembly processes (optical, micromechanical, thermal, soldering, YAG laser welding, etc.), reliability tests, and inscription of optical fibers with Bragg gratings, including fiber stripping, handling and recoating.

As well as providing epitaxial and wafer processing foundry services at its fabrication plant in Nozay, 3S Photonics designs and manufactures four product lines: optoelectronic chips (lasers and detectors) based on both gallium arsenide and indium phosphide (with an annual production capacity of over 1000 wafers of each); transmission laser and detector modules; pump laser modules for both terrestrial and submarine applications; and filters, gain equalizers and pump stabilizers. Products in the area of telecoms already address the wide-area network (WAN) market: metro (city networks), the long haul (interconnection between cities), and submarine (undersea links). 3S Photonics forecasts sales of € 27m for 2007.

As well as its existing product portfolio, the firm aims to base growth on a mid-term diversification strategy by broadening out to the datacom (inter-company network) and fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) markets. It is also targeting markets concerning defense and industrial lasers as well as the medical sector (with latest-generation lasers for bio-instrumentation, e.g. DNA sequencing, haematology and retinal imaging).

In addition, the implementation of a network of partnerships with universities and research centres in Europe should allow it to maintain its strength in technology and to ensure long-term growth, the firm reckons.

See related items:

Avanex France to become 3S Photonics

Avanex sells III-V fabs

Avanex reports record revenue (up 54%) and gross margin