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RELTEC TO BUY POSITRON

CLEVELAND-Reltec Corp. entered into a definitive merger agreement to purchase all the outstanding shares of Positron Fiber Systems Corp. for about $200 million, the companies said.

The merger advances Reltec’s position in the multibillion-dollar SONET/SDH broadband access delivery market and creates a robust suite of broadband access platforms for delivering multimedia services.

Positron will become a key component of Reltec’s new business unit, the Access Network Systems Group. Positron’s management team will continue to lead the company, which is moving into a new building in Montreal by the end of the year.

Reltec anticipates recording a one-time charge in the range of $90 million to $130 million to write off acquired in-process research and development. Excluding one-time charges, the transaction is expected to be slightly dilutive to earnings per share in the fourth quarter, and slightly accretive to 1999 earnings per share.

Montreal-based Positron offers a range of carrier class SONET and SDH products for competitive local exchange carriers and access providers, regional Bell operating companies, interexchange carriers and telecom original equipment manufacturers. The company employs 152 people.

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