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Nortel receives $1bn bids for Metro Ethernet unit

24 декабря 2008

Nortel Networks has received three bids for its Metro Ethernet business, some three months after it put the unit up for sale, it emerged Tuesday.

The troubled Canadian vendor has received offers of close to US$1 billion, the sum at which analysts have previously valued the business, according to reports in the local press.

Canada's The Globe and Mail  said it has learned of three bids for the unit, although it did not disclose the identities of the bidders.

The paper added that Nortel is currently mulling the offers, but has yet to determine whether its best route to profitability would be to sell off more than just the Metro Ethernet business.

A further three companies are also said to be interested in buying Nortel as a whole, although none has made a concrete offer.

Chinese rival Huawei is the most often named as a potential buyer for Nortel, although in addition to price, national security concerns could also put paid to any deal.

Earlier this year the Chinese vendor was part of a consortium that attempted to acquire 3Com of the
U.S., although that transaction was scuppered for the same reason.

Nortel is under some pressure at present.
The vendor is suffering from a serious slowdown in spending on the part of its U.S. carrier customers, and in Q3 this year posted a massive $3.41 billion net loss. It also faces delisting from the New York Stock Exchange if it cannot raise its share price above the $1 minimum level – it closed at just 25 cents on Monday – and to make matters worse, rumours of bankruptcy have begun to circulate.

The company has held discussions with the Canadian government about a possible lifeline, but no decision has been made.

European rivals Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks have been named as likely contenders to buy Nortel assets, as well as Huawei, the paper noted. U.S. vendor Cisco Systems is also said to be in the frame.

Источник: Total Telecom

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