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MRV to Buy Whittaker Networking Unit

January 21, 1998|Bloomberg News

MRV Communications Inc. of Chatsworth said it will buy a unit of Simi Valley-based Whittaker Corp. to expand into the wide-area computer-networking and remote-access service markets. Whittaker, an aerospace engineering company, will sell Xyplex Inc. for $35 million in cash, plus warrants to purchase up to 500,000 shares of MRV at an exercise price of $35 a share. Xyplex makes wide-area-network routers, remote-access servers and other networking equipment. MRV, which makes high-speed networking and fiber-optic transmission systems, specializes in local-area networking. The purchase of Xyplex will allow the company to offer a broader range of networking products. The sale of Xyplex is the last stage in Whittaker's plan to streamline the company and focus its efforts on aerospace. "We're not in the communications business," said Joseph Alibrandi, chairman and chief executive of Whittaker. "Our strength is in the aerospace market, and that's where we should focus our efforts. Xyplex is an outstanding company, but it's a different business." MRV shares rose $2.13 to close at $25.63 on Nasdaq.

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