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Is Nortel M&A Near?

Ray Le Maistre

9:15 AM -- The market should prepare for a potential flurry of asset sale news from bankrupt vendor Nortel Networks Ltd. , according to the latest reports from Canada and South Korea. (See Nortel Seeks Protection Extension.)

Following reports in the Korean press, the Financial Times published this story about how Nortel has hired Goldman Sachs & Co. to find a buyer for its stake in joint venture LG-Ericsson Co. Ltd.

And according to this report in the Ottawa Citizen, Nortel could announce other asset sales within the next few days.

The report suggests that the Enterprise business could be sold as early as this week, while the Metro Ethernet Networks business, which includes Nortel's optical assets, could be offloaded during the next five weeks, with Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Fujitsu Ltd. (Tokyo: 6702; London: FUJ; OTC: FJTSY), and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in the running to buy it. (See Is Nortel Prepping a Major Sale? and Is Huawei Moving Closer to Nortel?)

The Carrier business (wireless and VOIP technology) would then be sold in the summer. Nokia Networks is seen as the favorite to land that asset. (See NSN Linked to Nortel Asset Bid.)

The Ottawa Citizen cites a Nortel spokesman saying that an update on its restructuring efforts is due to be published this week or next. Bring it on!

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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