November 22nd 2010
SARDIS advises Firecomms on its sale to ZJF
Cork, Ireland--November 22, 2010--In the first ever technology acquisition
of an Irish high-tech company by a Chinese corporation, the ZJF Group has
acquired Cork-based Firecomms, a leading manufacturer of transceivers for
consumer Plastic Optical Fiber (POF).
The deal guarantees €5 million investment in R&D, together with the
expansion of Firecomms' engineering team from 18 to 30 people over the next
12 months. The deal also will facilitate the rapid expansion of Firecomms'
operations in mainland China.
"For some time now, mainland China has been our largest market," said
Firecomms CEO, Declan O'Mahoney. "As the ZJF Group is a major global player
in this sector, today's announcement not only allows us to guarantee
investment capital and job growth for the future, it also provides us with
access to the world's largest marketplace for our technology."
"Our acquisition of Firecomms is driven by the recent decision by various
provincial governments to classify Plastic Optical Fiber as a major
construction focus across China," said Xuping Zheng, Chairman of the ZJF
Group. "Delivering this infrastructure with copper cables would result in
over one million tons of CO2 emissions for China and would be impossible to
implement as the demand for copper would far outweigh the world's supply.
China is already the largest manufacturer of Plastic Optical Fiber and we
are combining those huge resources with Firecomms' leading technology."
Ireland's Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O'Keeffe TD,
welcomed today's news commenting, "The acquisition of Firecomms by the ZJF
Group demonstrates the global appeal of the Irish high-tech sector.
Ireland's enterprise base is now well diversified and our economic recovery
is anchored in continued strong export growth and a thriving foreign direct
investment sector ."
"A recent study showed that foreign direct investment is generating more
jobs per capita in Ireland than any other country," according to Barry
O'Leary, CEO, IDA Ireland. "IDA's published strategy Horizon 2020 calls for
an increase in investments from new high growth markets. This pioneering
technology deal is a perfect example of why Ireland is increasingly
recognized as a global innovation hub."
Shareholders in Firecomms included Atlantic Bridge, ACT Venture Capital,
Swisscom Ventures, Alps Electric and Enterprise Ireland. Brian Long,
Managing Partner at Atlantic Bridge, and member of the Firecomms Board of
Directors commented: "We are very pleased with this outcome, which positions
Firecomms for continued growth and success in the world's largest market.
>From our perspective, it reaffirms the strength of Atlantic Bridge as an
investment vehicle, not only in terms of our capacity for making sound
investments in the technology sector, but also the experience and strategic
guidance provided by the Atlantic Bridge team to companies in our
Ronan Daly Jermyn acted as legal advisors and Sardis Capital acted as
financial advisors to the acquisition.
Firecomms, a semiconductor company, develops high-speed optical components
that drive fiber optic networks in home, industrial and automotive
applications. The company's revolutionary OptoLock® technology, licensed
worldwide, has created the ability to bring fiber into every home in the
world. The company was spun from the Tyndall National Institute in Ireland
in 2001. Firecomms currently employs 18 people, many of whom are PhD level
physicists and engineers.
About the ZJF Group
The ZJF Group is an integrated Plastic Optical Fiber (POF) system and
solutions provider, with over 3,000 employees involved in the development
and manufacture of products based on POF. Established in 1994, the company
sells to over 100 countries, and has supply partnerships worldwide for
illumination products with large retailers such as Walmart, Target and B&Q.
The company has deep ties with university and government-based research
activity and has recently launched a wide range of high end optical
networking equipment. The company is headquartered in Zhejiang, China.
OptoLock is a registered trademark of Firecomms Ltd.
About SARDIS Capital
SARDIS Capital is an independent investment banking firm focused on advising
technology companies on mergers, acquisitions and financial transactions.
We combine an extensive track record in technology-sector transactions, with
two decades of operational and financial experience and in-depth knowledge
of the technology business ecosystem. For more information, please visit www.sardiscapital.com or