Nokia Siemens: Hot for Nortel's MEN?
Having tried and failed to win Nortel's wireless business, Nokia Siemens looks as if it could try to pull an "Ericsson" on Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) by out-bidding Ciena's stalking horse bid of $521 million for MEN. Nokia Siemens was the stalking horse bidder for Nortel's CDMA business and Long Term Evolution (LTE) assets, but was dramatically outbid by Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) in the auction. (See ITU: Ciena Bids $521M for Nortel's MEN and Ericsson Delivers Knockout Blow to NSN.)
It is not surprising that Nokia Siemens is reportedly looking to get a slice of Nortel's optical and metro Ethernet business: It has been included in the list of potential bidders by analysts and Light Reading. The company was eager to acquire the Canadian vendor's wireless assets because it would have significantly boosted its presence in North America. That situation has not changed, and there is perhaps even more urgency for NSN to win some of Nortel's customer base as it now watches its rival Ericsson bulk up in the region with the addition of Nortel's wireless business. (See Who's Waving Their Wad at Nortel’s MEN?, How NSN Is Funding Its Nortel Bid, and NSN Picks at Nortel's Mobile Bones , and MEN Watchers.)
And Nokia Siemens most likely won't be the only other bidder for the business, according to one analyst. Soleil Securities Group Inc. analyst Michael Genovese has said that Ericsson, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), and Infinera Corp. (Nasdaq: INFN) have been looking as well. (See ITU: Ciena Bids $521M for Nortel's MEN, Smith: Why Ciena Wants to Reign Over MEN , Ciena/Nortel: Oh Yes, There's Overlap, Ciena's Looking Over Nortel's MEN, and The Ciena Theory.)
And Nokia Siemens may have already called its shot. Yesterday, the company said it will seek out acquisitions that "enhance the scale of existing product and service business lines and that deepen relationships with key customers," as it announced a major corporate restructuring and plans to lay off up to nearly 6,000 employees. (See Nokia Siemens Revamps, Cuts Jobs.)
The deadline to submit bids for the MEN auction is Monday, Nov. 9, and the auction is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 13. (See Nortel's MEN Auction Set for Nov. 13 and Ciena Narrows It Down.)
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung