Optium, Another Optical IPO Candidate

Infinera might not be the first optical IPO after all. It might be pipped to the post by Optium Corporation, a Chalfont, PA-based companies that makes a variety of optical components and other transmission modules. Morgan Stanley and CSFB are running the book. Jeffries & Co, and Cowen & Co., are also underwriting this offering.

In particular, we provide high-performance optical networking products to network systems vendors servicing carriers. The products include transceivers and transmitters usable in FTTH networks and transmitters usable in hybrid fiber coaxial, or HFC, networks.

The company’s gear is used primarily for RF-over-fiber and CATV networks. The company’s management team is mostly ex-JDSU. Optium, started in September 2000, seems to have benefitted in the big network makeover undertaken by cable companies. It has products that are used in the FTTH networks as well, which indicates future demand for its products.

Optium counts Alcatel, Cisco Systems, Lucent Technologies, Marconi, Scientific-Atlanta, Siemens and Tellabs as its main customers. Its two major customers are Scientific Atlanta which accounts for 18.8 % of its total sales and Ericsson/Marconi which accounts for 13.2% of its sales. Tellabs, for instance is one of the major suppliers to Verizon’s FiOS network project.

Optium has filed an S-1, which shows that they had sales of $37 million in FY 2005, and a net loss of $1.5 million for that same period. In Q1 2006, they scored $48 million in sales and lost about $9.3 million. That loss might be because of a big acquisition they made – Engana, a Sydney, Australia-based wavelength modules maker.

The company raised nearly $65.9 million in four rounds of financing from four venture firms – Battery Ventures (which owns 34.9% of the company, KPLJ Ventures (15.7%), TL Ventures (5.4%) and TPG Ventures (7.3%). [ via ]