100G Ethernet

Nortel to Hold MEN

Nortel Networks Ltd. is pulling its Metro Ethernet Networks (MEN) division from the market, at least for now.

Here's part of a statement Nortel emailed to Light Reading Wednesday evening:

The previously announced potential MEN divestiture has been put on hold. These plans have been put on hold while the overall business plan is being developed to emerge from this process a more competitive and focused company, which will be subject to the approval of creditors and the courts.

Lately, Nortel officials have been talking about MEN as if it were sticking around. Unstrung was told that the MEN business could help with Long Term Evolution (LTE) backhaul in the wireless world. That could still happen, of course, if Nortel had sold the division and licensed back the technology. (See Nortel Keeps LTE Dream Alive.)

The MEN unit was put up for sale in September, with many hands suggesting Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. was the best fit as a buyer. (See Nortel to Sell Carrier Ethernet, Optical Biz, Why Huawei Should Buy Nortel's MEN , Huawei Seen as Likely Nortel Suitor, and Is Huawei Moving Closer to Nortel?)

Three buyers were reportedly interested. Separately, Radware Ltd. (Nasdaq: RDWR) got mentioned, although it's unclear whether it was one of those three. (See Nortel: M&A Update and Nortel M&A Rumor Update.)

In any event, a deal never materialized. Huawei might have come close, but in a recent Forbes article, IDC analyst Eve Griliches said AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) were not too keen on the deal, due to security concerns.

Then, this week, Nortel enterprise solutions president Joel Hackney was quoted saying that Nortel was rethinking the MEN sale.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

fiberslut 12/5/2012 | 4:12:19 PM
re: Nortel to Hold MEN ....nortel has scared all its customers about what might happen to MEN, they in turn have been working like nuts to qualify alternate vendors, or just simply steering business decisions elsewhere, employees all have fully updated resumes and are looking anywhere and everywhere for a new job that has some long-term promise of security, and now Nortel is saying "well, maybe not after all". The sheer incompetence of the execs in all this is mind-boggling. No matter what happens MEN will have lost market share. Oh well, its just par for the course at Nortel
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