The dissolution of Nortel following its bankruptcy filing took a big step forward with the June 19 announcement that management has entered into a ‘stalking horse’ asset sale agreement with Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) for ‘substantially all’ of its CDMA business and LTE access assets for $650 million.
“Seeking a strong and stable buyer is the best path forward for our CDMA business and LTE Access assets. If successfully completed, this transaction would give many of our CDMA customers a clear road map for the future evolution of their networks and the opportunity to extend their relationship with a long-term partner,” Richard Lowe, president of Carrier Networks, Nortel commented.
Nortel is the second-largest supplier of wireless CDMA infrastructure in the world, which includes supplying three of the world’s top five CDMA network operators, Verizon Wireless being one of them.
Though the “stalking horse” agreement makes NSN the leading bidder for the assets, it also sets the terms and conditions for others to step forward with better bids.
What has to be somewhat heartening news to Nortel employees, at least 2,500 of them–a ‘significant portion of the employees associated with the assets being sold’– would hold on to their jobs and continue to work for NSN, according to Nortel.
“Maximizing the value of our businesses in the face of a consolidating global market has been our most critical priority. We have determined the best way to do this is to find buyers for our businesses who can carry Nortel innovation forward, while preserving employment to the greatest extent possible,” Nortel president and CEO Mike Zafirovski stated.
Nortel common and preferred shareholders won’t fare as well, however. In fact they’ll lose everything they have invested in the company as their interests will be canceled as part of the creditor protection proceedings. Nortel has applied to delist its shares from trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.