Is Anyone Else Going to Bid on Nortel's MEN Business?

Includes: CIEN, NRTLQ
by: Mark Evans

With only two days left to submit bids for Nortel’s (OTC:NRTLQ) Metro Ethernet Network business, the big question is whether anyone else will step up to the plate, or whether Ciena’s (NASDAQ:CIEN) $511-million cash-and-stock bid will be the only offer.

For potential bidders, an alarming signal was the fact that MEN’s third quarter sales tumbled 26% to $295-million in third-quarter to $295-million from $398-million a year earlier.

Nortel said the decline reflected the “continuing economic downturn and the uncertainly created by the Creditor Protection Proceedings”, as well as “lower revenues from certain customers”.

Nokia Siemens (NOK, SIhas been touted as a potential but some analysts believe it may not get involved given the business is being restructured, including plans to eliminate 9% of its workforce.