American industial glass specialist Corning has agreed to purchase ’substantially all’ of 3M’s Communications Markets Division headquartered in Austin, Texas, for $900 million in cash.

The division is responsible for optical fiber, optical and copper connectors, structured cabling solutions and other products that relate to network connectivity.

Rich in fiber

Corning fiber optic cales
Corning fiber optic cales – Corning

3M was founded in 1902 as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, and gradually diversified into chemicals, textiles, household products, audio and video equipment, healthcare and a variety of other industries. It is responsible for inventing such everyday essentials as the masking tape, waterproof sandpaper and cellophane-based Scotch tape. In total, 3M owns more than 100,000 patents worldwide.

The company is a major supplier to data center and telecommunications infrastructure markets, making less glamorous, but no less important facility elements like weather-proofing and fire supression products.

It also runs a healthy network cabling business, with $400 million in annual sales and manufacturing facilities in Pontchâteau, France.

Corning said acquiring this business fits into its multi-year strategy and capital allocation framework, which is designed to create value for shareholders by focusing the company’s portfolio. In total, Corning plans to invest approximately $1 billion to $3 billion in acquisitions.

“Corning leads in optical passive components and solutions. This transaction expands both our global market reach and our high-bandwidth portfolio. It also provides new co-innovation opportunities and enhances our ability to serve customers globally,” said Clark Kinlin, executive vice president at Corning Optical Communications.

“As the industry’s only true end-to-end manufacturer and supplier of optical solutions, we look forward to bringing these two strong organizations together and welcoming a group of outstanding employees.”

The acquisition is expected to close during 2018, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.