Petaluma broadband equipment maker Calix Inc. is acquiring competitor Occam Networks in a $171 million deal that will give Calix customers new tools to upgrade their networks, the two companies said Thursday.
Consumers want more voice, video and data over the Internet, and telecommunications companies need technology to meet the demand, Calix CEO Carl Russo told Wall Street analysts.
"This transaction brings two extremely strong and talented engineering teams together, and we intend to accelerate development in our existing and acquired platforms," he said Thursday.
With the addition of Occam, Calix provides "the broadest portfolio of innovative access network options to adapt to this changing world," Russo said.
It's the first acquisition for Calix since the Petaluma tech company went public with an $82 million stock offering last March. The combined companies should generate more than $400 million in sales next year, Russo said.
Calix reported revenue of $233 million in 2009, and Santa Barbara-based Occam posted sales of $84 million.
The stock-and-cash deal values Occam at $7.75 per share, a 47 percent premium to its $5.29 closing price on Wednesday. Occam shareholders will own between 16 and 19 percent of Calix' outstanding stock when the deal closes.
The acquisition still must be approved by Occam shareholders and federal regulators. It's expected to close later this year or early in 2011.
Both companies are gaining from the federal government's $7.2 billion broadband stimulus program, which provides grants and loans for telephone and cable companies to upgrade their networks in the rural U.S.
Calix and Occam serve small- to mid-sized carriers, mostly in the U.S. and Canada. Calix' largest customer is CenturyLink, a fast-growing U.S. regional carrier that is buying Qwest Communications.
With Occam, Calix gets a suite of technology based on Ethernet, a transmission system that boosts the speed and volume of data over telecom networks.
It's a good fit for Calix, which makes access platforms for high-speed fiberoptic networks, Russo said. It adds more than 300 new customers to Calix' 500-customer base.
It also will help Calix reach new markets overseas, he said. Calix is selling to network operators in the Caribbean and expanding to Latin America. Occam has sales in Europe, Australia and the Middle East.
Calix has about 400 employees, most of them at its Petaluma headquarters. It has smaller facilities in Minneapolis and Boston.
Occam has about 189 employees in Santa Barbara and several other locations.
It's unclear how the deal will affect Calix staffing in Petaluma, where the company does engineering and various corporate functions. "We have not begun any integration discussions," Russo said.
But he indicated Calix will keep Occam's management. "The way you make these acquisitions work is by keeping the talent," Russo said.
Calix shares closed Thursday at $13 on the New York Stock Exchange, down 2 percent from Wednesday's close.
Occam closed up 36 percent to $7.19 on the Nasdaq exchange.