TA Associates Buys Aurora Networks Stake

TA Associates has acquired a minority stake in Aurora Networks, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based developer of advanced optical transport systems for broadband networks. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, in which TA bought shares from existing aurora details. Specific sellers were not identified, but aurora has raised over $60 million from firms like Sprout Group, Battery Ventures, ComVentures and Castile Ventures.

PRESS RELEASE

TA Associates, a leading growth private equity firm, today announced it has acquired, through a secondary purchase from existing shareholders, a minority stake in Aurora Networks, Inc., an optical transport solution provider delivering a cost-effective, optimized platform for next-generation cable services. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

Founded in 1999, Aurora Networks is the only pure-play optical transport solution provider focused solely on cable network operators. The company’s broad array of optical network products and technology includes optical transmitters, node platforms and Ethernet equipment that deliver enhanced services and greater bandwidth to subscribers while reducing the cable operator’s total cost of ownership. Aurora Networks’ systems simplify network design and maintenance, offer greater flexibility and scalability, and position operators to provide competitive, next-generation cable services. The company is based in Santa Clara, California.

“Aurora Networks is precisely the type of profitable, growing company in which TA seeks to invest,” said Jason P. Werlin, a Vice President at TA Associates who will join the company’s Board of Directors. “Aurora Networks’ continued growth is fueled by an innovative suite of products and services that deliver truly compelling benefits to cable companies throughout the world. We look forward to assisting Aurora Networks’ talented management team to further build value in the company.”

“We are very pleased to welcome TA as an investor in Aurora Networks,” said Guy Sucharczuk, Chairman, President and CEO, Aurora Networks. “We are confident that TA will be a valuable partner as we continue to expand our offering of industry-leading technology to support next-generation cable services.”

Cable operators worldwide are making significant investments to improve networks and increase available bandwidth. Cable subscribers are increasingly demanding more bandwidth-intensive and latency-sensitive services such as HDTV and two-way services such as personalized video-on-demand (VOD), high-speed Internet access and voice-over-IP (VoIP). Analysts project 24 percent compounded annual growth in worldwide HDTV subscribers and 9 percent compounded annual growth in U.S. VOD-enabled digital subscribers, between 2008 and 2013.

“Cable operators continue to build and upgrade network infrastructure to counter increasingly competitive threats from telephone companies, satellite operators and Internet content providers,” said Kurt R. Jaggers, a Managing Director at TA Associates. “As a result, the addressable market for Aurora Networks’ products is large and growing. Given the rapid rise in bandwidth consumption and ever-increasing demand for enhanced products and greater broadband speeds, we anticipate continued significant growth for Aurora Networks.”

TA Associates has more than four decades of investing experience, focusing on profitable growth companies. TA’s prior investments in the communications sector include FreeWave Technologies, Idea Cellular, MetroPCS Communications, Micromax Informatics Limited, SBA Communications, TARGUSinfo, TEOCO and Weather Investments S.p.A.

Goodwin Procter LLP provided legal counsel to TA Associates. Wilson Sonsini served as legal advisor to Aurora Networks.

About Aurora Networks

Aurora Networks is evolving cable by focusing on innovative solutions that build future-proof networks to accommodate the cable subscriber services of today and tomorrow. Aurora Networks is the only pure-play optical transport solution provider that is focused solely on cable MSOs. Using its proven understanding of cable networks, Aurora Networks delivers unique solutions – such as its Fiber Deep architecture and digital return technology – to address specific issues of the cable industry. Aurora Networks enables leading MSOs across the globe to compete with a cost-effective, optimized launch pad for next-generation cable services. To learn more about Aurora Networks’ core cable solutions, please visit www.aurora.com.

About TA Associates

Founded in 1968, TA Associates is one of the largest and most experienced middle market private equity firms. The firm has invested in nearly 400 companies and manages more than $16 billion in capital. With offices in Boston, London, Menlo Park and Mumbai, TA Associates leads buyouts and minority recapitalizations of profitable growth companies in the technology, financial services, business services, healthcare and consumer industries. More information about TA Associates can be found at www.ta.com.