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Highwave Optical Technologies

Optical component manufacturing is a complex, labor-intensive process, and there are very few companies that ever master their production in volume. The founders of Highwave had spent over a decade developing their technology in the laboratories of France Telecom's Research Center (CNET) and they had acquired an international reputation for expertise in photonic components. Newbury partner Ossama Hassanein had been working with managers at CNET to identify promising new venture opportunities and recognized the potential of the Highwave team and the commercial market for their optical technology. Newbury negotiated with France Telecom to spin the project out and led the seed and first financing of the Company. Highwave grew rapidly following its founding in 1998 to develop and manufacture optical components and modules for use in systems to increase the capacity of high-speed networks. Newbury helped the Company through its IPO in 2000, then also led a later significant private financing.

The photonics industry and its vendors were in the middle of the telecom upheaval and downturn in recent years, and Highwave experienced its share of challenges to survive. Newbury was active from the start, at times holding several board seats. Throughout both the initial growth phase prior to its public offering, as well as during the following years of restructuring through the market downturn, Newbury partners teamed with management to help diversify products, focus on customer relations, control cash management and cost containment, dispose of assets, organize senior management appointments, advise on labor union negotiations, shareholders agreements, and regulatory compliance. Newbury's hands-on commitment helped to facilitate new Company reporting methods, decision-making scope, and deliverables. Ossama Hassanein led these efforts and demonstrated tremendous dedication and conviction to the people and technologies of Highwave Optical.

Newbury's investment return on Highwave has been extraordinary, and was the result of teamwork both within the partnership as well as with company management to successfully deal with organizing and ramping for high growth, going public, then reorganizing for rapidly changing markets and survive with a robust company. Today, by having established an international reputation of manufacturing superior products that meet stringent standards set forth by customers and industry associations, Highwave Optical has become the European leader in the development, production and marketing of optical components and DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) subsystems for the telecommunications industry.

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