Toronto Star - Ciena will save 2,000 Nortel jobs


(24-Nov-09) Ciena Corp. won the auction for wilting Canadian technology icon Nortel Networks Corp.'s global Ethernet assets and promised to preserve 2,000 highly-skilled jobs, many in Ottawa.

The $769 million (U.S.) offer – $530 million in cash and the rest in notes – for Nortel's metro Ethernet networks unit follows a much smaller "stalking horse" or initial bid and beat an undisclosed, lower offer from Nokia Siemens Networks.

The bid goes before U.S. and Canadian bankruptcy courts on Dec. 2 for approval.

Nortel's optical networking unit is the last major division to be auctioned off following Nortel's entry into bankruptcy protection, though the company still has other assets. The agreed-upon price is in the upper range of analysts' estimates, but well below the book price of Nortel's valuable technology, global contracts, around 2,250 global employees, and intellectual property.

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