HUBER+SUHNER signed the contracts to take over Polatis, a group headquartered in Bedford, MA (USA) and Cambridge, UK with USD 13 million sales and 110 employees. Polatis develops, produces and sells all-optical network switches. This innovative technology enables improved capacity utilisation in data centers and advanced data management in large telecommunication networks. Both applications are strategic growth areas of HUBER+SUHNER. The closing of the acquisition is expected in June. The parties agreed not to disclose the financial terms. The purchase will be financed entirely from company funds.

Polatis is the most technologically advanced provider of purely optical switches which, in contrast to conventional electrical/optical switches, do not convert the signals but control them purely optically and offer much higher performance. Polatis switches allow for faster switching speeds, outstanding reliability and the industry’s lowest optical loss. These innovative solutions are unique in the market and promise a large potential for the future. The products allow the efficient management of ever-increasing data volumes and support are a key building block in the evolution towards software defined networks. The Polatis product portfolio thus represents a perfect addition to the existing product range of HUBER+SUHNER. Polatis will form a business unit within the Fiber Optics division.

Founded in the year 2000, Polatis now has some 110 employees at its sites in Bedford, MA/USA, Cambridge/UK and Krakow/Poland. Product management, research, development, prototyping and low-volume production are all performed in England whilst high volume production takes place in Poland. The arm of the company based in the USA concentrates on sales. In the last financial year the company generated a turnover of about USD 13 million, mainly in the USA.

Urs Kaufmann, CEO of HUBER+SUHNER, explains that the Polatis portfolio represents an excellent strategic complement to the HUBER+SUHNER product range: “Polatis’ pioneering technology strengthens our position as the leading innovator in the field of fiber optics. In our interconnected world digitalisation continues at a furious pace, and volumes of data are growing exponentially. The Polatis technology enables these huge data streams to be managed speedily, efficiently and securely. HUBER+SUHNER will further invest into Polatis and we expect to see a breakthrough in the data center market and a positive financial contribution within the next 2 to 3 years. We are pleased that we can count on the full commitment of the complete Polatis management team as we continue to develop the company. “

Gerald Wesel, CEO of Polatis, elaborates: “We recently launched the 384×384 switch, which is the largest available network switches; in so doing Polatis has confirmed its leading position in the field of optical switches. After years of development work and successful deployment in a huge range of different applications, we are now poised for a breakthrough in the data center market. Thanks to the global presence, the size and excellent reputation of HUBER+SUHNER, we are now able to position our technology more widely in the market. In strategic terms, Polatis and HUBER+SUHNER represent a perfect fit. Joining forces will mean a decisive step forward for all of us.”