Court rejects NSN's late Nortel optical bid

Dylan Bushell-Embling
04 Dec 2009

Nortel will proceed with its plan to sell its optical networking and carrier Ethernet unit to Ciena, after bankruptcy courts rejected an alternate bid from Nokia Siemens for being late.

In a joint hearing, US and Canadian bankruptcy courts issued orders allowing Nortel to continue with the sale, Bloombergreported.

Ciena had won the November auction for the assets with a bid of $769 million, but more than a week later, NSN submitted an $810 million bid.

NSN petitioned the bankruptcy courts overseeing the sale of Nortel's American and Asian assets to reopen bidding, arguing that because Ciena's offer included $239 million worth of convertible notes, it was not worth the same amount as an all-cash bid.

But Ciena had argued that it had already commenced work on the combination. Nortel meanwhile complained that accepting a late bid might undermine the remaining bankruptcy auctions, dissuading participants from submitting bids until after the auction process.

Nortel said it had separately received court approval to sell the EMEA portion of its optical assets to Ciena as part of the same transaction, and to sell its GSM business to Ericsson and Kapsch for $103 million.

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