Ciena confirms Nortel bid

Ciena has confirmed it is in the running to pick up Nortel's optical networking and Carrier Ethernet business units after news that a deal was imminent leaked earlier this week.

Ciena has confirmed it is in the running to pick up Nortel's optical networking and Carrier Ethernet business units after news that a deal was imminent leaked earlier this week.

The units form part of Nortel's Metro Ethernet Network business, which generated $1.36bn in sales for Nortel last year.

Nortel's latest sale again takes the form of a stalking horse agreement. Ciena has tabled an aggregate offer of $521m; $390m cash and 10 million shares, and competitive bidders will be able to make their own offers.

A separate agreement with Nortel's administrators provides for the acquisition of the EMEA assets, Ciena said.

Gary Smith, Ciena's CEO and president said the transaction would put Ciena two to three years ahead of its current position.

"We believe this transaction will position us for faster growth by giving us greater geographic reach, broader customer relationships and a deeper portfolio of solutions. We believe we are best positioned to leverage these assets, thereby creating a significant challenger to traditional network vendors," he added.

Ciena plans to make job offers to approximately 2,000 Nortel employees.

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