Telecom Timeout

Oct 7 2009   5:24PM GMT

Nortel suitors off to the races: Ciena puts $521M stalking horse bid on optical/Carrier Ethernet biz

Jessica Scarpati Jessica Scarpati Profile: Jessica Scarpati

Well, Ciena, that didn’t take long.

One day you’re just flirting with “advanced discussions,” the next (OK, two days later) you’re talking about forking over $390 million in cash and 10 million shares of Ciena common stock for Nortel’s Optical Networking and Carrier Ethernet businesses. What happened to a little romance?

For those playing along at home, that’s an estimated $521 million for the all assets of the two business globally — including Nortel’s OME 6500, OM 5000, CPL platforms, 40G/100G technology and related service businesses — along with patents, intellectually property, customer contracts and “at least 2,000 employees.” (Does Ciena really want to double its headcount?)

Earlier this year, Extreme Networks was drooling over the same assets. Wonder where they are now?

Ciena’s stock price dropped on the initial acquisition news and has gone up a bit now that financial analysts are digesting the possibilities. Still, as happened in other Nortel auctions, we aren’t counting out the possibility that another optical vendor will come in with a higher bid.

Have another look at IDC analyst Eve Griliches’ take on the Nortel assets, and we’ll see who bids next.

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