The companies' executives call off a potential merger of the telecommunications equipment giants, raising new questions about the future of one of America's premier research labs.
Long-awaited word of a merger between the two companies kicks off the trading week.
OpNext, the former optical components division of Hitachi, announced earlier this month that it closed a round of funding worth $321 million from Clarity Group, an equal partnership between Los Angeles-based Clarity Partners, a private equity investment firm, and Marubeni Group, a Japan-based trading house. OpNext makes active components like chips for Lucent, Alcatel and Ciena, and plans to make a public offering when market conditions become more favorable. Hitachi currently owns about a 70 percent stake in the company, according to OpNext representative Caroline Kinlin, and announced the creation of the company in Sept. 2000. OpNext said at the time that Clarity group was prepared to make an investment of up to $450 million in the separate company. OpNext operates manufacturing plants in Japan and has a development facility in Thousand Oaks, Calif.