Legacy cash-cow Telecom businesses (FEC, PDH, Framers). These products will require minimal expenditures and are 5-6 year annuities. Ethernet MACs and PHYs. These components are more in-line with Cortina’s core business. It should be noted that in 2000, Intel paid (cue Austin Powers voice) 1 BILLION DOLLARS for Giga, the maker of 10G PHYs in a frenzy of back and forth bidding in Copenhagen hotel rooms.
Venturebeat indicates the purchase price was $115M.
It’s pretty clear to me what is going on. Cortina investors want to juice up the company with more revenue and more cash flow in order to build critical mass. It obviously makes a liquidity event easier, and is in effect a spin-off of a small Intel unit. At the right price, it makes business sense too…
But as I stated earlier, it is unfortunate that the telecom components were not rolled into a larger entity like AMCC (NASDAQ:AMCC) or PMC-Sierra (NASDAQ:PMCS). Those two companies could have taken these products on with virtually no incremental R&D or SG&A. I hope Intel was paid well by Cortina’s investors, because it appears to me that larger, more established component companies might have milked the cow more efficiently, and therefore paid more. It would have also been a step towards the consolidation the industry needs.
Intel should divest their optical module business to Finisar (NASDAQ:FNSR), and avoid putting those components in weak hands.