One of the circling vultures has finally picked some of the juiciest meat of the bones of Nortel. Israeli company Radware, an application delivery networking vendor, announced that it has agreed to buy Nortel’s Layer 4-7 appplication delivery switching business for an undisclosed sum. In the transaction Nortel is basically selling off the assets of Alteon WebSystems, a company it purchased nine years ago.
Nortel bought Alteon in 2000 for $6 billion in an effort to keep pace with Cisco, which had bought a competing company, ArrowPoint Communications, just months prior for $5.7 billion.
Nortel is currently restructuring itself under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. According to U.S. bankruptcy law, the sale must be conducted at auction, so other companies have an opportunity to best Radware’s offer before the sale is finalized.
In its announcement of the deal, Radware said the Alteon products would be sold under the brand Radware Alteon. The company announced that it would offer a five-year support plan on Alteon products to ease the worries of existing Alteon customers. Radware plans to hire some of Nortel’s employees, it said.
Other vendors in the application delivery space have been trying to capitalize on the uncertainty surrounding Nortel and its Alteon line. For instance, F5 Networks announced plans to offer up to $9,000 worth of credit to companies that agree to trade in their Alteon switches for F5′s competing Big-IP switches.
If consummated, Radware’s acquisition of Nortel’s Alteon business will solidify its position as a strong competitor to F5, Cisco and Citrix in the application delivery networking market.