Optical/IP Networks

Nortel's MEN Auction Set for Nov. 13

With the proper court approvals completed yesterday, Nortel is set to auction off most of its Metro Ethernet Networks (MEN) division on Nov. 13.

The courts also set Nov. 9 as the deadline to file bids to compete with the $521 million that Ciena offered up. (See ITU: Ciena Bids $521M for Nortel's MEN, Smith: Why Ciena Wants to Reign Over MEN , and Ciena/Nortel: Oh Yes, There's Overlap.)

This wasn't a rubber stamp. According to the Canadian Press, judges weren't happy about a $16 million breakup fee, plus $5 million in expenses, that Ciena would get if it lost the bidding. It's not yet known whether the breakup fee got taken out of the deal.

The sale will come about 14 months after Nortel first tried to sell off the MEN business, back before the company had gone into restructuring and bankruptcy filings. (See Nortel to Sell Carrier Ethernet, Optical Biz and The Decline & Fall of Nortel Networks.)

We're all used to the drill by now: Assuming there are other bidders, they'll convene on Nov. 13 at 9:30 a.m. Eastern to fight it out. For the wireless and enterprise businesses, the process was long, and the going price nearly doubled by the time the auction finished. (See Ericsson Delivers Knockout Blow to NSN and Avaya's $900M Bid Wins Nortel Auction.)

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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