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Nokia willing to pay more for Nortel assets

Wed, 12/02/2009 - 10:00am
The Associated Press

Nokia Siemens has asked a U.S. bankruptcy court to reject Ciena Corp. as the winning bidder for Nortel Networks' optical networking and carrier Ethernet businesses.

Nokia Siemens and its partner One Equity Partners said Tuesday they would be willing to pay US$810 million in cash for the business. That would top the $530 million in cash plus $239 million of convertible notes that made up Ciena's winning bid for what was considered one of Nortel's more-prized units.

In its filing with the bankruptcy court, Nokia Siemens took issue with the valuation of the convertible note portion of the offer.

Nokia Siemens, with One Equity Partners, said it had offered $770 million in cash during the auction, but Nortel picked Ciena instead.

A Ciena spokeswoman said the company was aware of the objection, but declined to comment.

Nortel has been selling off its divisions after filing for creditor protection in January.

So far, it has sold off its next-generation packet core network component assets to Japanese electronics manufacturer Hitachi Ltd. for $10 million and its enterprise solutions division to New Jersey-based Avaya for $900 million.

Nortel, once a technology giant, decided to sell itself off in pieces rather than attempt to emerge from bankruptcy protection as a restructured company. It filed for bankruptcy protection in Canada and the U.S. in January, one day before it was due to make a debt payment of $107 million.

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