Exclusive: Semiconductor manufacturer Infinera explores sale -source

Illustration picture of semiconductor chips
Semiconductor chips are seen on a printed circuit board in this illustration picture taken February 17, 2023. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration/File Photo

March 14 (Reuters) - Infinera Corp (INFN.O), a U.S. manufacturer of semiconductors for the telecommunications industry that competes with China's Huawei, is exploring options that include a sale of the company, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The San Jose, California-based company, which has a market value of $1.6 billion, is working with investment bank Centerview Partners on a sale process that will launch in a few weeks, the source said.

Infinera shares rose over 11% on the news in afternoon trade to $7.64 a share.

There is no certainty that Infinera will reach any deal, added the source, who requested anonymity because the deliberations are confidential.

Infinera did not respond to requests for comment. Centerview declined to comment.

Infinera makes optical semiconductors and networking equipment for fixed line and mobile telecommunications networks. The company's shares are down 15% in the last 12 months, almost double the average of its peers, as it tries to recover from supply chain bottlenecks and boost its profit margins.

Oaktree Capital, the credit investment firm controlled by Brookfield Asset Management Ltd (BAM.TO), sold its equipment maker Coriant to Infinera in 2018 for $430 million in cash and stock and currently holds a seat on Infinera's board. An Oaktree spokesperson declined to comment.

Reporting by Milana Vinn in New York, Editing by Nick Zieminski and Josie Kao

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Milana Vinn reports on technology, media, and telecom (TMT) mergers and acquisitions. Her content usually appears in the markets and deals sections of the website. Milana previously worked at GLG and PE Hub, where she spent several years covering TMT deals in private equity. She graduated from CUNY Graduate School of Journalism with Masters in Business Journalism. Contact: 347-463-7957