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Pirelli Buys Avanex Shares
Oct 2007
MILAN, Italy, Oct. 29, 2007 -- The Pirelli Group Italy announced today an agreement to acquire the 12.4 percent stake held by Alcatel-Lucent in Avanex Corp. for 33.4 million euros (about $48 million), making it the main industrial investor in Avanex, a developer of optical modules and components for telecommunications.

As part of the deal, Alcatel-Lucent signed supply agreements with both Pirelli and Avanex for related components. Avanex said today that Alcatel-Lucent has extended its supply agreement for an additional three years.

Claudio De Conto, general manager of operations for Pirelli, said, "The supply agreement with Alcatel-Lucent and the investment in Avanex strengthen the group's presence in the core business of second-generation photonics after the startup, in 2001, of the Pirelli Labs advanced research center and the incorporation in early 2005 of Pirelli Broadband Solutions, built on a long history of experience in the field."

Pirelli said in a statement that its entry into the share capital of Avanex "takes place in a spirit of total cooperation between the two companies. The Pirelli Group's Broadband Solutions unit and Avanex, which have complementary technology capabilities, will explore collaboration for the development of advanced and cost-effective optical solutions to meet growing consumer demand driven by broadband applications such as IPTV (Internet protocol TV)."

It said the agreement will also strengthen the role of Milan, Italy, as a global technological hub for telecommunications infrastructures, due to the presence of Pirelli Labs, one of Alcatel-Lucent's major optical research and development centers, and of the local research center for Avanex. Avenex has US headquarters in Fremont, Calif.

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