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Nortel in stalking horse deal with Genband for CVAS business

24 декабря 2009

Nortel Networks, the bankrupt Canadian maker of phone equipment, agreed to sell its voice-over-Internet protocol calling gear to Genband Inc., a privately held Plano, Texas vendor, for $282 million, in a so-called "stalking-horse" arrangement.

The acquisition would make Genband one of the top vendors in Internet-calling equipment. Nortel is the No. 1 vendor worldwide in terms of carrier VoIP equipment revenue.

"Genband is much, much smaller. It's a good fit for them," says Diane Myers, analyst at Infonetics Research, a Campbell, Calif.-based market research and consulting firm, which predicted in January that the business would be attractive for Genband."It absolutely changes the vendor landscape."

Still, there's no guarantee that Genband will end up with the assets.

Stalking-horse offers typically set the floor for bidding, and represent the lead bid at a bankruptcy auction. In this auction, other potential bidders include Sonus Networks Inc. and Nokia Siemens Networks. In June, Nokia Siemens, a joint venture of Nokia Corp and Siemens AG, initially won the stalking-horse auction for Nortel's wireless technology business only to be eventually outbid by market leader Ericsson.

"It's really just the first step. It's not a foregone conclusion that Genband will be the one that ends up with the assets," Myers said.

Since filing for bankruptcy protection in January, Nortel has raised more than $3 billion in asset auctions.

Nortel has the world's largest installed base of so-called class 5 circuit-switched voice customers, known as DMS-100, which it used to upsell its softswitches, Myers said.

In a statement, Nortel said Genband will buy substantially all of the assets of its North America, Caribbean and Latin America, or CALA, and Asian, as well as the Europe, Middle East and Africa, or EMEA, portion of Nortel's carrier VoIP application solutions business, subject to balance sheet and other adjustments estimated at about $100 million.

Nortel said the agreements include the planned sale of softswitching, gateways and SIP applications. The agreements also include all patents and intellectual property that are predominantly used in the CVAS business.

Genband, which develops next-generation IP infrastructure products, has teamed with One Equity Partners III LP, one of its shareholders, to help finance the proposed purchase. New York-based One Equity Partners, or OEP, manages $8 billion of investments for JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Nortel expects to seek U.S. and Canadian court approvals early next year for the bidding process, including setting a bid deadline and tentative auction date.

Источник: Total Telecom

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