Nortel delays auction of optical unit

Dylan Bushell-Embling
16 Nov 2009

Nortel has closed the sale of its CDMA and LTE assets to Ericsson, taking in $1.13 billion from the transaction, but has delayed an auction for its optical networking and carrier Ethernet businesses.

The bankrupt vendor has delayed the planned auction - which had been scheduled to take place on Friday - due to “ongoing discussions with interested parties,” Nortel said in a statement.

Nortel will now accept bids until tomorrow, and will provide an update on the auction process by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, more than 2,500 former Nortel employees from North America and China will join Ericsson in the coming months following the completion of the sale of its CDMA/LTE business.

“Separately, our two companies played leading roles in freeing voice telephony from its fixed limitations,” incoming Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg said.

“Together, we will do the same for broadband - make it mobile and bring the benefits of high-speed data connectivity to the majority of the world's population.”

Ericsson said the acquisition also significantly expands the company's foothold in North America, which will now be its largest sales region.

Major CDMA contracts with North American operators such as Verizon, Sprint, Bell Canada and Telus will be transferred to Ericsson as a result of the transaction, the company added.

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