Nokia May Bid for Nortel's MEN

by: Mark Evans

Nokia Siemens (NOK, SI) may be making a bid for Nortel’s (OTC:NRTLQ) Metro Ethernet network (MEN) business, which would put it in competition with Ciena, which has made a $521-million “stalking horse” bid.

Speculation about the bid comes on the heels of Nokia Siemens Rajeev Suri telling Reuters that the company is looking for well-priced and sensible acquisitions. Earlier this year, Nokia Siemens was outbid for Nortel’s CDMA wireless and LTE R&D unit by Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC).

In September 2008, MEN was put on the block by Nortel, which hoped to get $1-billion to $2-billion for the business. Then, the global credit crunch hit home and any interest in MEN disappeared. In some respects, the failure to sell MEN set the stage for Nortel’s decision to declare bankruptcy protection given its financial flexibility had disappeared.

More: Nokia Siemens said it plans to eliminate 9% of its employees to deal with lower sales and competition from Chinese rivals.

Links: LightReading has some thoughts on Nokia Siemens’ interest in MEN, suggesting that it is “not surprising that Nokia Siemens is reportedly looking to get a slice of Nortel’s optical and metro Ethernet business”. LightReading adds that Soleil Securities Group Inc. analyst Michael Genovese believes Ericsson (ERIC), Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) and Infinera (NASDAQ:INFN) could also make bids for MEN.

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