HUBER+SUHNER strengthens core WAN/Access networks market with BKtel acquisition

Created October 2, 2019
News and Business

HUBER+SUHNER has acquired BKtel, which develops, manufactures and implements active and passive components for broadband networks and has extensive expertise in FTTH, hybrid fibre coax and distributed access architecture as well as optical converters, amplifiers and fibre lasers, for around CHF 50 million. Subject to the approval of the German Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office), the deal is expected to close in December. The acquisition will be financed exclusively from the company’s own funds.

BKtel was founded in 1997 as part of a management buy-out by former employees of Alcatel Kabel Deutschland. In addition to the founders, who hold the majority share of BKtel, BWK Unternehmensbeteiligungsgesellschaft is also among the owners. Its headquarters are in Hückelhoven-Baal, North Rhine-Westphalia. Further sites are located in Kornwestheim near Stuttgart and Rosenheim in Bavaria. The product range includes optical transmission devices such as transmitters, amplifiers and receivers as well as cable TV headends and radio frequency amplifiers. The company also plans, installs and commissions these systems for network operators. BKtel achieves the majority of its sales in Germany. An additional boost in this geographic core market is expected to come from the German government’s plans to expand the broadband network.

BKtel Photonics in France is a leader in various optical amplifier and fibre laser technologies, which are to be used both in optical transmission technology and in the future-oriented field of 3D scanners (LIDAR), for example in 3D landscape scanning or for surveying the vehicle surroundings during autonomous driving.

“The acquisition will significantly strengthen our position in the core market WAN / Access Networks,” says Urs Ryffel, CEO of HUBER+SUHNER. “BKtel has a strong position with important network operators in Germany. This will enable us in future to offer these customers complete network solutions consisting of active and passive components from a single source. The BKtel know-how ideally complements the existing competencies of HUBER+SUHNER with active access network components and data laser technology. With BKtel, we are also acquiring an economically strong company that will contribute to the profitability of HUBER+SUHNER from day one,” continues Ryffel.

“I am delighted to become part of the HUBER+SUHNER Group,” notes Dr. Jürgen Seidenberg, co-founder and CEO of BKtel. “The Group has an excellent reputation in the German market and offers an industrial environment that allows us to further grow. Thanks to the global structures of HUBER+SUHNER, we will be able to tap new geographical markets for our products and services. I am particularly pleased that BKtel will play an important role in the future as a competence centre within HUBER+SUHNER due to its complementary activities,” Seidenberg concludes.

Back in June 2016, HUBER+SUHNER announced the acquisition of Polatis, which develops, produces and sells all-optical network switches, which enable improved capacity utilisation in data centres and advanced data management in large telecommunication networks, both of which are strategic growth areas for HUBER+SUHNER.

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This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.