Updated from May 12 The bulls are running wild after a big deal at Avanex ( AVNX). The Freemont, Calif., tech shop saw its shares jump 147% Tuesday after the company rolled out a deal Monday to consolidate the optical components businesses of two of its bigger rivals. Eager to get their cash-burning optical parts businesses off the books, networking gearmakers Corning ( GLW) and Alcatel ( ALA) agreed to sell much of their photonics operations in deals that will actually bring Avanex cash in addition to business operations. Avanex says the stock-and-cash swap, valued at $63 million, will give it a wider array of products. In a complicated set of transactions, Avanex will get the businesses plus $110 million in cash from Alcatel and $20 million in cash from Corning. In exchange, Alcatel will receive a 28% stake in Avanex and Corning will get 17%. The companies make optical systems such as lasers and amplifiers that help transport light waves through fiber optic telecommunications networks. Like many outfits that once sat atop the once-hot communications business, though, Alcatel and Corning have been slashing jobs and jettisoning cash-burning units in recent years in an effort to bring costs down as industrywide spending continues to slow. In that vein, Corning says it will close its Lasertron facility in Bedford, Mass., by the end of this year, eliminating some 150 jobs. Corning expects to take a second-quarter pretax charge of $50 million to $70 million related to these transactions. Avanex shares added $1.75 to $2.94 Tuesday after earlier setting a 52-week high above $3.
Even though AT&T tried a last-minute bribe of promising 5,000 new U.S. jobs to help gain support for the deal, the Justice Department filed a complaint to fight the combination of the nation's No. 2 and No. 4 wireless carriers.